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November 7, 2012     The Adams County Record
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November 7, 2012
 

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The Adams County Record Wednesday, November 7, 2012 Civil r fiscourse and The Clasll of Ideas BY LEE H. HAMILTON The election of 2012 has called attention to how dif- ficult it is for Americans to talk reasonably with one another about public poli- cy challenges. Our civic dialogue -- how we sort through issues and reason with one another -- is too often lamentable. We live in a politically divided country. Congress, which ought to serve as the forum where politicians of diverse views find common ground, is instead riven by ideological disagreements. There's no real discourse, just the two parties hammering at each other in a mean- spirited, strident tone. Small wonder the public holds Congress in such low esteem. It seems impossible to change, but it's not. Ordinary citizens--you and I--have it in our power to put our political dialogue back on track. The first step is to under- stand that in a politically and socially diverse country, with two houses of Congress and a president required to pass legislation, compromise isn't a luxury. It is almost always a necessity. Too few politi- cians seem to grasp this. So if we want things to improve, if we don't like intense partisanship and political game-playing, then we must choose officials with an instinct for collabo- ration. And we, as their con- stituents, have to give them room to craft legislation with brod appeal. The budget, taxes, entitle- ments, education, immigra- tion -- on all these issues there is room for each side to accommodate the other. But to make progress on these matters, it will take political leadership of the highest order: leaders who are fair, open-minded, and committed above all else to bringing people together through discussion, debate and compromise, Let me be clear: We should expect disagreement in our politics. Vigorous debate has been a constant in American history, and let's hope it always will be. Controversy and argument are natural parts of a working democ- racy. Our Founders under- stood this, as a way for mul- tiple views to be aired and possible solutions weighed. Competition for power lies at the heart of our system, and an intense struggle for votes that is marked by the clash of ideas should be encouraged, not feared. But healthy debate requires other ingredients, too: Respect for one's adver- sary. Tolerance of different beliefs and perspectives. Graciousness. A fundamen- tal respect for facts. The humility to recognize that we might be wrong and the integrity to admit it. When the next political attack ad appears on your television screen, keep these virtues in mind. Because if we don't like the tone of our politics, you and I are the only ones who can change it. We must make it clear to office-seekers and to our political friends that we do not like inflammatory name- calling or constant attacks on an opponent's motivation. Let it be known we are tired of excessive partisanship -- that we want a genuine dia- logue that searches for com- mon ground and solutions. Knowing how to disagree without obstructing progress should be a bedrock skill for officeholders. They must know how to state their case cogently, in a manner that is substantive and fac- tual, and does not attack the motivation or patriotism of those with whom they dis- agree. The more this kind of behavior becomes the norm, the better our politi- cal system will work and the stronger our nation will be. Because the reverse is true, too:a politics that consists of debasing, demeaning, or attempting to silence the people with whom we dis- agree is a warning sign of an ailing democracy. Plenty of powerful groups and interests in this coun- try try to manipulate public opinion. But special inter- ests don't have the final say- on who gets elected. You, the average citizen, have the one thing every candidate values most highly: a vote. Use it, and use it wise- ly. Help America turn away from a coarse, surly politics that dwells on differenc- es and places party loyalty ahead of national progress. Choose leaders of a civil temperament who listen attentively to a wide' range of views, who see value in bridging the partisan divide, and who will pragmatically address our nation's chal- lenges. Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years. Four Ways to Discuss Politics in the Workplace BY DR. DENNIS BECKER The age-old truisms still stand. Religion and politics are two of the most danger- ous things to talk about with others, anywhere, includ- ing at the office. We all hold personal convictions about those, and you simply can't win if you have conversations about politics, in the wrong way, in the workplace. If someone else raises the topic of politics at work, and asks for your response, fol- low these five tips for turn- ing a slippery slope into an opportunity to connect with your colleagues: 1.Don't gloat. If your pre- ferred candidates won the election, great. Bask in the thrill of backing the winning horse ... privately. Refrain from expressing your joy on company time or in the workplace. Your colleagues' feelings may not reflect your own, so be courteous and respect their sensitivities. 2.Don't whine. The election is over. The arguments are over. Now put it all behind you, and move on. If your conversational partner won't (or can't) move on yet, then... 3.Don't talk about con- tent. Talk about process. That is, stay away from the philosophical or practical differences you may have with your co-worker, or the candidate or the party they support. Focus, instead, on the way the campaign was conducted, the way a can- didate presented him/herself (the candidates' speaking and messaging styles, successes, and shortcomings; negative ads; money spent on the campaigns, etc.). Focus on the process of the campaign, and how it was conducted and observed by others. 4.Focus on the positive. Concentrate on the future, and support the winning candidates, whether they got your vote or not. America is the greatest democracy on the planet, and freedom of speech is a cornerstone of the democracy. Use it. Accept it. Respect it. Dofft abuse it or refuse it. And remember that work- place communication isn't all about what you say when you're at the office anymore. Smiling politely at work but posting political diatribes on social networks isn't going to help anyone - least of all, you. Talking about politics in the wrong way can threat- en relationships and cause harm to companies - and to careers. Talking about poli- tics in the right way, how- ever, can build bridges and strengthen relationships. The choice is yours. Page 5 Parks & Rec Board Meeting First Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm at City Hall. Adams County Search & Rescue North -- First Thursday of each month at 7 pm at the MV Emergency Services Building South -- First Monday of each month at 7 pm at the Adams County Courthouse 1he American Legion Meets the first Thursday of every month at the American Legion Hall at 7:30 pm. Council School Board Second Monday of every month at 6 pm at the Council High School Library. Adams Soil & Water Conservation Dist Second Monday of the mon7:30 pm at the Adams County Extension Office. Adams Coop. Weed Management Area Second Tuesday of each month at 3 pm at the Adams County Weed Control building. For info call 253-4669. Adams Co. Sheriff Reserve Officers Meeting the second Wednesday at 7 pm in the Adams County Courthouse Council Valley Free Library Board Second Wednesday at 4 pm in the library. Indian Valley Fire Department Second Thursday at 7 pm in the Indian Val- ley Fire Hall Alcoholics Anonymous Every Mon. & Wed. at 8 pm in the Council Valley Free Library. Call 74,1-0875 for more information. Hazard Risk Planning Team Every Third Thursday at 10:00 AM in the Council EMS Building Government New Meadows City Council Second Monday of every month at 7 pm at New Meadows City Hall. Council City Council Second Tuesday of every month at 7:30 pm at Council City Hall. Adams County Commissioners Second, Third & Fourth Mondays at 9:00 am in the Commissioners Room, County Court- house 00iiiii!iii!!!!!ii!i!! t li! Community Worship Services Directory Highway 95, Council lsz & 3rd Sundays 3:30 pm Friday Mass - noon. Church or h Namme 102 S. Exeter * 208-566-4264 Pastor John Schaffer Disdpleship 10 a.m. Morning Worship 11 a.m. Sunday Fellowship 12:00 p.m. Children's Church 11:15 a.m. thn VaL-/ Chh Pastor Brian Gladhart 355-2020 Assoc. Pastor Isaac Ward 257-3812 Sunday School 10:00 a.m. Worship Service 11:15 a.m. Wed. Bible Study 7:00 p.m. Ghurch ofJelm Chrllt or tatter IXe/sakm S FairSeld, Council 253-4330 Bishop: Douslas Unford Morning Wohip 9:30 a.m. Ceuncl BI31e Gkh 190 4th Ave. 253-6923 Interim Pastor Roger Hayden Worship Services at 7:00 p.m. tbm orrnr Meets at 340 Commerdal Street, Weber, Idaho 208-318-8660 or 208-549-0669 Pastors Stephen and Debble Blount Sunday School 9:30 AM Services 10:30 AM & 6:30 P.M Bible Study Thursday 7:00 PM Ceeaa Va.tama or God 253-6430 Paston Geoff Cole Sunday School 9:45 a.m. Moming Worship 10:45 a.m. Power & Light Company Tue. 7 p.m. Bible Study Thurs. 7 p.m. Caed Cenm, erch 105 California Ave. 253-6461 www.councilcc.org Co-Pastors: Wayne Freedman & Les Sheneberger Morning Worship 10 a.m. Wed. Bible Studies 5:30 & 7:30 pm Mon. Women's Bible Study 7 pm Fri. Men's Breakfast Bible Study 7 am Nm Mmdo Uated Medmdlg Cmrch 210 N. Heishho 347-2427 www.newmeadowsumc.org Pastor Andy Satta Morning Worship 10:30 a.m Children's Church held during worship Fmllk For Cltt (tbn Basement of Tater Tots Daycare 208-741-0410 Pastor: Jon Sorg Services Sunday 11:00 a.m.