Building a bridge

Of course, we are all making resolutions for the new year. Over my Christmas hiatus, I had time to read and reflect, particularly on the issue of "finding common ground" in our political matters.

Some might call it a Christmas miracle, while others will cynically pronounce my new tone as a strategic retreat but wherever the cause lies, I am determined that my column in 2019 will be used to help explain and hopefully bridge our political chasms rather than widen them.

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I have already given a mea culpa, but I will reiterate that my cacophony and colour have certainly been "problematic" to borrow my opponents' phrasing. And while I will never stoop to the level of amoral language - there are truly "wicked allegiances" observable in many quarters - I could follow an old friend's advice to perhaps present a few more facts. The era of fake news is no excuse for me to indulge in spurious stories or make metaphysical mountains out of mole hills.

Obviously I can't control what my fellow pundits will do at this local paper, let alone the wider world. But for anyone listening, near and far, over hill and dale, I encourage you to join me in a turn towards solutions over listing each others' many faults. Besides, we all know them.

To be clear, lest my fans despair and my opponents begin dancing in the streets, I have not had a Damascene conversion; my uncompromised lines are still drawn in the same places.

I affirm: the Nicene Creed; that our democracy exists thanks to the rule of law limiting state power and protecting citizens' rights to private property - including firearms; that the golden rule of governance is subsidiarity; the moral imperatives to life, private and public, spell personal responsibility before any privilege; that human beings are not blank slates; and finally, we are truly fortunate to live in the Dominion of Canada. May "God keep our land, glorious and free."

Where my tune has changed is the "how" side of things, perhaps thanks to my "why" evolving slightly when it comes to the secular world. I still believe that prudence is the ultimate virtue in politics and that the way to improvement is by a narrow gate but we have reasons to hope and there are hypotheses that may better match the challenges we face. If I am not open to such things, how can claim to be informed? Not all of life and politics is a zero-sum game.

A final point must be made here: I am in no way being the bigger person. In fact, I am very late to the game of "reconciliation." At the risk of editorializing unforgivably, I maintain it had to be that way. In short, the backlash seen around the world towards the alienating, centralizing systems of governance and social control are more correct than false and now that some of my opponents have admitted such, I in turn can come out of my reactive and defensive positions.

In the end, it is right and just that we do more good than ill to one another. That means something different to everyone, depending on your vocation.

For us in the chattering classes, perhaps it means helping keep the peace instead of adding to the noise.

Happy new year.

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