I opened the envelope and read the letter addressed to then-State Representative Ed Cook. It was an invitation to my grandma and Doc Bowen's home over Labor Day weekend in 1982. They mention in the letter that they would be with the Gees, another political family, after the parade, and presumably joining them at their home in Bremen. Have I mentioned yet that Mr. Cook was a Democrat? And the others were Republicans?
Doc would have served with Representative Cook while he was governor, and likely would have worked with him to some regard, across the aisle so-to-speak. Something that would be extraordinarily uncommon today. Even more poignant of the level of civility was this invitation. Friends in public servitude, albeit from both sides of the aisle, enjoying each others' company over the holiday.
Where exactly did we go wrong in politics? I fully admit to being naive upon my entry into politics, but I was only modeling what I knew to be right, good, and true. Modeling what I saw in the revered leaders of a better time. Of a more civil time. Maybe I just miss my grandparents' wisdom in this storm.
I have to believe, or at least I really want to believe, that a majority of people feel the way I do. That it isn't about who screams the loudest, who's out to get who, where the money comes from, or political positioning that leaves us further and further outside of the access of our own government. I have to believe I'm not alone in wishing for more civility, for the betterment of all our people. And that I don't, nor do they, have all the right answers....but together we just might be better off than apart.
Here's to wishing for politicians who are everything but political. Who can weigh what is right on a scale free of bias and personal aim. Who serve their fellow man with utmost humility and discernment. Maybe someday.