A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about how communication can help unite America

We close our series of letters by encouraging more Americans to re-engage with one another to discuss matters of significance. Silence and fear set the stage for harmful ideas to carry the day. By re-engaging in good faith, more Americans can arrive at a better understanding of productive common ground centered around freedom.

It helps to consider the source of most conflict in our political discussions. New proposals that curb freedoms naturally divide us. For example, new government mandates to take away freedoms like buying a soft drink will stir the pot.

Many of our political wedge issues arise from attempts to remove someone’s freedom. Climate change, gun control, LBGTQ-related mandates which raise freedom of religion concerns, and PC edicts all follow this pattern. Public debate in America will continue to include a steady diet of proposals to change the status quo. Most of this debate can be healthy if we handle it the right way.

As we re-engage, we should strive to respect everyone’s input.

Political interests, even ones on opposite sides, usually relate to life and liberty. For example, climate change proponents believe their ideas will preserve life, while their opponents disagree and seek to preserve other interests involving free enterprise, liberty and property. Despite strong beliefs on both sides, neither should be dismissed out of hand.

Socialism will likely remain the wedge issue of all wedge issues in American life because it touches on most of our everyday activities. Free enterprise and socialism cannot fully occupy the same space in society. One must be favored over the other because, if unchecked, socialistic ideas will grow and extinguish free enterprise. Americans must choose.

As we answer difficult questions for ourselves about future government taxes and spending, don’t discount a strong possibility. Although each government initiative needs to be looked at in detail, in the long run, less government could lead to more earned success for more people. More earned success means less need for government programs and payments.

If you become a person who decides to speak up, take heart. Supporting free enterprise is not dumb. It is not callous to want freedom or to encourage more people to earn success based on achievements. Before long, you will find close friends and groups of great people who share your views. Through this good work, you can make friendships that last a lifetime.

Frost Brown Todd LLC Member Rob Hudson is a Past Chair of the Northern Kentucky Chamber and a business lawyer. 2018 Independent Author of the Year Lauren Hudson is a Singletary Scholar at the University of Kentucky.

As you stand up for what you believe, treat people with kindness and respect. Do not feel pressured into compromising on your positions or your votes. Although most people like compromise, peace, and harmony, integrity calls us to resist a compromise we believe to be wrong.

Know that when you stand up for business and freedom, you can occupy the “high ground” in the discussion. You want people to do well, and you believe in a different path to get more people there. Focus on communicating how your approach will improve people’s lives. Don’t give up on a discussion until you have tried to appeal to common ground about which all reasonable people can agree.

Chances are, we will continue to be divided as people call for more changes to the status quo, but that’s life and politics. Standing up for what’s right leads to self-respect and respect from others. In the end, they might even agree with you. Remember, on most issues, we can unite around the day-to-day successes that freedom helps deliver.

We are more united than divided. When we disagree, we should act in good faith, following the Golden Rule to the best of our ability. With this approach, if common ground exists, and it almost always does, we will find it.

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One Comment

  1. Roger Bales says:

    Great series of articles. Always looked forward to the next. Good luck going forward.

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