Come together for common good

Sixty-two-year-old retired Chapman neighborhood resident and community activist.

For a person who tends to be very outspoken, I have been rather quiet of late—both publicly and privately. But even I have my limits.

In years past, I have filled this space with comments on the need for a moderate middle ground in local politics and social issues. Too often in the rhetoric associated with the extremes of the left and right, common sense is left by the wayside as each side tries to find the moral high ground. The end result is often a muddy draw that only embarrasses everyone.

Many years ago, during my tenure as president of the Butte Humane Society, I appealed to the late City Councilman Ted Hubert for assistance in resolving a very costly fire hydrant assessment by the city Building Department. Ted came through for me without hesitation, and I subsequently publicly endorsed him for reelection. My endorsement letter ended up in the center of a full-page campaign ad in the local daily newspaper. After that, I endured the enmity of many friends who did not know of the trade-off influencing my endorsement.

The bottom line is that sometimes we must all work together to achieve a common good. Without community service, we do not have a community. Without consensus, we do not have government of and by the people.

Today, we are little more than a world defined solely by media headlines and network anchors. We are told that issues must be black or white and left or right, without tones of gray or a middle ground of common sense.

In Iraq, soldiers of many nations are losing their lives each day. Civilians without agenda are being beheaded, a most heinous death. Madness rules globally, and life goes on in Middle America.

It is time for all of us to come together, end the rhetoric and find a common ground that allows this madness to come to an end. There is nothing good about war, as necessary as it may seem.