Pig War: lessons evidently lost | Letters
July 23, 2012 · Updated 8:26 PM
Is it my imagination, or is this island becoming more and more politically polarized all the time? Are we in danger of splitting in two?
As I read letters to the editor, and listen to my neighbors, I’m more and more disturbed by what I can only refer to as a “us” vs. “them,” or “I’m right and you’re wrong” mentality.
Sure Democrats and Republicans have their differences; but does this need to carry over into CAO and SMP discussions? My concern is that the bitterness, fear and anger we saw in dealing with the CAO is child’s play compared to what is going to occur when discussion/debate starts on the Shoreline Master Plan.
My suggestion, which I fear will fall on deaf ears, is to remember the lessons of the “Pig War”, which stressed peaceful negotiations. Maybe an all island Shoreline Master Plan Dance is in order, or even better—how about a foot race between “The Friends” and the “Common Sense” supporters?
We can also learn from our founding fathers, who, by the way, didn’t like one another, but worked together cooperatively because the stakes were so high.
John Adams said, “There must be decency and respect and veneration introduced for persons of authority of every rank or we are undone... this is our only way.”
Basically, as concerned islanders we have two choices: we can continue to “preach to our choirs,” and get all worked up talking only to people who are of like minds, or we can exercise empathy and really attempt to understand the other side’s position.
Personally, I choose the later because I have always found the former about as exciting as kissing a mirror.
Mike BuettelFriday Harbor