letter to the editor

Talking and listening across the divide

Posted:  Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 11:15am
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Dear Editor:

It started Aug. 29 with a workshop on the current state of civility in our politics by Carolyn Lukensmeyer of the National Institute for Civil Discourse. The workshop was hosted by Lincoln County Indivisible at Friends Meetinghouse in Damariscotta. I invited Dick Mayer, chair of Lincoln County Republican Committee, to join me and he graciously accepted. We both learned more through the workshop and appreciate the need to bring more earnest but civil discussion into our politics.

In fact, we followed that with agreeing to talk over coffee at Sheepscot General last Wednesday. In that conversation we both learned something about each other, some things we appreciate in common, some differences in political views, but also some common ground regarding some of the frustration and lack of opportunity people face today. It was a good conversation.

I’m glad that the National Institute for Civil Discourse and Lincoln County Indivisible arranged this workshop. And while I know Dick and I aren’t going to solve the extreme polarization of today’s politics with a few cups of coffee, I’m thankful that Dick and I are both interested in continuing this conversation. We both want neighbors and relatives to once again discuss productively what direction is set for our state and nation. We need to bring people together in understanding, instead of not talking to people who disagree, or worse, people treating each other badly when they do talk politics.

I’m looking forward to our next discussion over coffee.

Chris Johnson

Somerville

Chair, Lincoln County Democratic Committee