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Sometimes I just have to ask myself how we have allowed ourselves to become a country so divided. We have come to a point in life where we force people into choosing teams. Maybe we have always had that mentality. Are you on Team A or on Team B? Are you a good guy or a bad guy? Are you a cop or a robber? Are you the villain or the hero? Kids in school are classified as an A-student or C-student. When it became more mainstream to admire celebrities above all others, we even started classifying them as well. You are either an A-List celebrity, B-list or lower. Everyone has a classification.

As if it was not bad enough to draw such definitive lines in the sand, we then qualify what it means to be in one group or the other. There are definitive expectations created to define who you are and what it means to be you within that group. The problem I have with this is that God created us all individually, with our own completely original characteristics. No one else on Earth can be you except for you. The only person that truly determines what it means to be you is you. What in the world does this have to do with politics you may ask?

I have watched the Democratic and Republican parties disintegrate, and believe me when I say this is happening to both sides. The mentality has grown so strong that you are either with us or against us. And when you mess up, we are taking notes for persuasion to benefit us later, if and when the time comes. This has happened so much so that the parties have now broken off into Libertarians, Independents, Tea Party, lobbyists and advocacy groups. It would appear that most people have felt so confined within their own ‘teams’ that they felt they had to create a new group that better defines them. It also could be said that this has happened because the larger the government has grown, the more the people had to find ways to have a voice. In the end ultimately, things have spiraled out of control and here we are. We are more divided and still trying desperately to find ways to make sure our voices are heard.

The one thing I know to be certain is that the government’s role in things does not need to expand any further. We have way too many chefs in the kitchen and not enough people to eat the food they are serving. I know that the screaming, name calling, bullying, backroom deals, personal agendas and egos have absolutely no place in the business of the citizens of the United States of America, land of the free and home of the brave. Maybe we all should slow down and take a deep breath. I think of what my ADHD son’s therapist has taught him to do in working on behavior modification. It sounds so simple and seems too simple to believe it could even work, but I want you to consider the possibilities if everyone did this. What has she taught him to do when he is running around crazy, not listening to his parents or in such a hyper, distracted state that his brain cannot process anything going on around him? It is simple: STOP……………LISTEN………….THINK WITH YOUR BRAIN……………GO. How easy is that?

It seems like such a simple thing. What it means to my 4 year old son is the very same thing it should mean to all of the adults in this world. Stop what you are doing. Listen to the person or people trying to communicate with you. Think about what was said, and then respond or act on it accordingly. Sounds simple enough, but how often does this happen?

Being a Democrat, Republican, Independent or Tea Party member, does not mean you should never speak to the other side. It absolutely does not mean you should never compromise. It does not mean the other team cannot be friends of yours. It simply means that I believe in a certain methodology of running an operation. The other person has their way. Together you discuss real issues and try to find ways to come together, share ideas and make decisions that are for the betterment of all people. Will this always happen? Absolutely not!!! So I ask you, are we really mad at a person for how they voted, or is the truth of the matter that we are mad at WHY they voted the way they did?!

Isn’t the truth really that we have become so divided and so defensive of our own agendas, beliefs and methodologies that most of the time we really don’t even care what the truth is or what someone else has to say. We just want to defend what we THINK the truth is, the way we think it should be and especially if it makes us feel better about why we are doing whatever it is that we are doing?! If the people we elect voted in line with the principles and ideals of the party they represent and remained true to the people, would we be more understanding when compromises or made? If we knew that egos, money and power had less to do with the decisions our leaders made, could we accept their choices more readily? If we knew that they were putting forth their best effort to stay true to the ideals they assured us they would represent, could we be more forgiving when they vote opposite of what we would have wanted them to do?

I ask only to get you thinking about this as I have many times before. I can forgive a mistake. I can understand someone having knowledge that I was not privy to and in turn making a decision they felt was the best one for the people they represent. For me, I see Chris as being the man that I can believe in. I believe that his intentions are good. I believe that he truly desires to stay the course and not stray from the promises he has made. I am not so naïve as to believe that he is free from temptation or won’t make a mistake along the way. We could debate Chris’s voting record, his stance on issues and his methodology just the same as we could do for Senator Cochran. At the end of the day, isn’t the truth that we all really just want the man that represents the citizens of Mississippi to have a good heart, good intentions and filled with the spirit of God? We want a man that doesn’t forget about us when he is in Washington. We want a man that will do his best to make decisions based upon his Conservative Republican values and principles. We want a man that knows when to be forceful and when to pull back. We want a man that is in touch with the people of his state. We want a man that doesn’t forget what it means to represent his constituents, even in the face of political pressure. Who is that man for you? For me, that man in State Senator Chris McDaniel!

Don’t get so caught up in the fight that you forget what this is REALLY about. Do not allow yourself to become vulnerable to the punches thrown by the ones that do not agree with you. Try to hold back from being the one that does the punching. We are all in this together, and we are all Americans at the end of the day.

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