Politics Aside, Don’t We All Want the Same Things?
Full disclosure: My name is Jim, and I’m a political junkie. But even for me, watching the national political conventions is a little much to stomach. The over-the-top, take-no-prisoners rhetoric leaves me with the thought that surely we are better than this.
There were two moments during the Republican convention, however, that gave me pause that maybe we are—and don’t know it.
The first came at the end of NBC’s coverage of the Republican Convention last Tuesday night. Tom Brokaw, the now retired but long-time anchor of NBC News, was relating an interview he had that day with Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s Republican Governor.
Walker had just returned from a trade mission to Mexico. The Mexican officials he met with were less concerned about Donald Trump building a wall to stop illegal immigration than they were about political stability in the United States. Image, said Brokaw, the Mexican government is concerned about U.S. political stability….
The other point Walker made to Brokaw was that not all undocumented workers are stealing American jobs. He then pointed to the Wisconsin dairy industry. Large herds in the state are almost wholly dependent on immigrant labor to milk and feed cows, and they struggle with a convoluted immigration policy that creates more problems than it solves.
While Brokaw was cut off due to time constraints, the implication was that the “Build the Wall” rhetoric isn’t a solution that fixes much of anything. What is needed—and what both Republicans and Democrats want--is a rational, functional immigration policy that allows people to come to the United States and work here legally.
The second moment came a day earlier when Melania Trump seemed to channel Michelle Obama with her hopes and dreams for the future. The almost verbatim passages in Mrs. Trump’s speech of Mrs. Obama’s words eight years earlier created several days of bickering over charges of plagiarism.
What was lost in the brouhaha was what the two women said in unison: “…we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
Could it be that both women want the same thing for our children? Could it be that deep down both political parties also want the same thing—safe, secure borders and a vibrant economy that taps the talents of both native-born and immigrant workers who together want to build a better country? I’m just asking the question, but the answer seems pretty obvious.