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Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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Well Done

By on July 8, 2014 in See It Here

It’s sad when little things are celebrated. I’m not talking about smiles or opening the door for someone but, rather, something small like agreeing to have a conversation even though the person with whom you are about to converse comes from a different planet (you know, if I was to talk to a person from a different planet, I’d have to joint the tin foil hat club).

In this case, however, “different planet” is the current world(s) we find ourselves in because political parties prefer to point fingers rather than talk to eachother.

But a little thing is a great thing when it comes to a conversation between President Obama and Texas Governor Rick Perry (OK, see where the “different planet” thing came from?).

The president is going to Dallas to raise money for Democrats while the usual chorus of “Here’s what you should do” is saying he needs to visit a border patrol camp along the Mexico/Texas border since 50,000 people from Central America are showing up to seek a better life in America. The word I keep hearing is “optics.” Having the president at the border is supposed to change things instead of having conversations with his staff and leaders from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras about those countries having a role in this mess. Note to the pundits: it is taking place and I know that sucks the air out of the ranting. What we see isn’t what occurs and if one spends time only with “optics” that suggests talking isn’t needed. Quite frankly, if there’s conversation underway, the president can shoot pool. It really doesn’t bother me.

You want optics? There’s an immigration bill passed by the Senate that has been waiting for the House to vote and it’s been there for a year. Of course, that stuff kind of “optics” can’t be seen and people on the Hill say it would pass if allowed for a vote.

In the Big Picture view, the Governor of Texas had earlier said he had no plan to meet with the President  which can be read by the always-loud-back-of-the-school-bus group as a macho move. Governor Perry has shown he’s bigger than that and, unfortunately, I find myself thinking this is a good thing when it should be a normal way of doing business. Talk to the other side to fix things. It works. It’s always worked. Optics aren’t needed…..imagine that?

My experience in dealing with the opposition is after you get past the words, there’s usually someone who is actually likeable. Sometimes, to get to a solution, you have to not talk about the problem and instead, talk to the person. Communication has never been a straight line.

They may not agree about what to do with border security. Governor Perry may say the 3.7 billion dollars requested by the White House to deal with the sudden border issue is a dumb idea. But however that discussion goes, it’s steps above the usual way of shouting and saying what’s wrong instead of agreeing on what’s right and then, looking together in an all-too-rare effort to say–together– “what’s next”?

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