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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Nov 9, 2016

I am writing this on Monday, the day before Tuesday’s election.

By the time this has been printed, mailed, and in readers’ hands, the outcome will be known.

One side will be celebrating and planning its next moves, while the other side will be pointing fingers, making excuses, and deciding what were their mistakes.

For my wife and myself, one of us will be pleased with the result and the other will be disappointed as we will do what we have done in previous elections, cancel each other’s vote.

Politically, we are on opposite sides of the fence.

Our marriage is not one of politics.

Other than politics, we agree on almost everything else which is at least 80 percent and probably around 90 percent of our lives.

We have our differences. We can observe an event, especially an emotional one, and when we describe it to someone they will wonder if we were watching the same thing as we each have our own perspective.

We can be moved to tears and usually I am the one who tears up first. You didn’t expect that, did you?

What bothers me most about elections is the partisanship that exists where it seems to be a winner take all attitude. I am right and if you disagree with me, you are wrong.

It’s not that simple.

Let’s say my wife and I each have a political view that is 90 degrees in scope. And let’s say we are watching an event that is due north.

Because of our differences I am looking northwest and she is looking northeast while what is happening is due north.

Our two viewpoints do overlap on each side of due north while seeing something the other is missing is at the other end.

Together we can see more than each of us can see individually.

What I am trying to say is that by comparing viewpoints we can learn from each other.

This is what our political representatives need to learn instead of demonizing the other side as irrational extremists or worse.

I am not right all the time any more than my wife is. Our decisions are reached through respect, negotiation and compromise.

If we were to use an attitude of “If you win, therefore I lose,” we will eventually end up with both of us losing.

Yes, we have our disagreements. One of them is how loud is the television. She turns it up and I turn it down.

Right now she has the television at her listening level and since she uses hearing aids, she needs a higher level. That is too high for me as I like the sound low, very low.

I have headphones on to muffle the sound. It looks dumb, but it works.

Otherwise we would sit in separate rooms. That’s not why we got married.

It’s a compromise and compromises are not necessarily neat.

It’s a lesson I wish our representatives would learn and use, regardless of Tuesday’s election results.

But nothing will change as long as the sides decide if you are not in first place, then you are last and last place is for losers.

That’s when we all lose.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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