Is common ground too far away?
The political process was at play Wednesday during the Carson City Chamber of Commerce’s Soups On luncheon at the Gold Dust West.
There were protesters; there were supporters; and then there were the politicians.
Things got heated, voices got raised.
Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Mark Amodei both agreed to the luncheon before the November election. The crowd was sold out quickly and by last week it became apparent it was going to be testy.
And it was.
The question after the event: What was accomplished?
From our standpoint, not much.
Maybe a few people feel better they got it off their chest and were able to confront their elected officials.
Hopefully, Heller and Amodei heard their constituents; they do after all represent everyone in their district and state.
In these days of heated partisanship, it seems there’s a lot more finger-pointing and arguing than there’s talking and finding common ground. Common ground, by the way, is a phrase we’re expecting to be removed from the dictionary as it’s hardly used these days.
Civil discourse is another one.
So, while it made for good sounds clips and social media, it didn’t provide answers, solutions and while the politicians did a pretty good job to remain level headed and provide answers, the crowd often interrupted, causing civil discourse to go out the window.
Hopefully, Heller and Amodei can come back to Carson City again soon and host an open forum on a topic — health care would be our pick. They can bring in an Affordable Care Act expert who can provide background and answer questions and provide answers about what works and what doesn’t work … constituents could offer their solutions and together find common ground.
Heller and Amodei, both Carson City natives, could be leaders for a new era in politics.
And they could both go back to Washington, D.C., and explain to leadership how they made common ground great again.