Editorial: The middle ground conventions seem to miss

  • President John F. Kennedy called on us to seek "the right answer" rather than a partisan answer.

    President John F. Kennedy called on us to seek "the right answer" rather than a partisan answer. Associated Press

 
The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Updated 8/26/2020 10:54 AM

Daily Herald Editorial Board

As the Democrats wrap up their truncated, crowdless week of making their case to potential voters and the Republicans prepare to defend theirs next week, one thing is clear: the middle sometimes gets lost in the battle for hearts and minds.

 

Many of us work ourselves into a froth during these weeks of preelection cheerleading. We're urged to retreat to our corners.

In politics these days, centrism is a difficult road to victory.

A regular voice in our ear -- a conservative reader -- this week sent us a quote from a former United States President: "Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."

It was President John F. Kennedy who said that.

It struck us that if an avowed conservative can thoroughly embrace the words of JFK, maybe there is hope for the rest of us to venture from our corners, talk to one another and find some common ground.

With that as the backdrop, here are some words of wisdom that are worth reflecting on:

• "Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?"

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~ President Abraham Lincoln

• "Never question another man's motive. His wisdom, yes, but not his motives."

~ President Dwight D. Eisenhower

• "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."

~ Helen Keller

• "This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in."

~ President Theodore Roosevelt

• "We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond."

~ Illinois poet laureate Gwendolyn Brooks

• "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools." ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• "We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams."

~ President Jimmy Carter

• "Tolerance and compassion are active, not passive states, born of the capacity to listen, to observe and to respect others."

~ Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi

• And finally, back to Honest Abe: "I don't like that man. I must get to know him better."

Now, more than ever, we owe that to ourselves and our nation.

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