On the eve of arguably the biggest football weekend for Minnesota Vikings fans in nearly a decade, I am sure that it seems appropriate that I would write about the “Purple People Eaters”. I am cheering for them this weekend, because any other choice would be disastrous in this house, but the Vikings purple is not the purple to which I am referring.
This week has been an interesting one, in the political arena, and I think it is fair to say that I am officially rooting for purple. I don’t think that I am the only person pulling for purple since the presence of independent voters in this country continues to rise. Those of us who are neither red, nor blue, but rather a mix of ideologies from both sides of the fence.
“You have to choose sides!” I can hear the chants of staunch Republicans and dedicated Democrats. “You can’t sit there…if you are on the fence you are not really for us and you are not really against us…and I don’t know how to yell at you… or with you.”
It has gotten so noisy in this country, and it sounds like the noise is only going to increase with next November’s election when corporations and unions have free reign to financially support political ads, even attacking ones. It is a cacophony of emotion without objective listeners.
The President of the United States needs to be a purple leader. Picking out the most dominant pigment from blue and red arguments and melding them in a way that they both still recognize their color in the newly created hue of purple. It is not just an attack on the current administration, because we have not had a purple leader in recent history.
We need courage, and I am starting to be more convinced that that courage needs to start on the ground level. That courage looks still and sounds silent. It is not popular to listen. The side with which you are aligned gets uncomfortable when you are not yelling, but rather listening and considering. I may very well choose the quietest candidate in future elections…as long as what they whisper rings true with my principles and beliefs.
People who have known me for a long time, know that this straddling the fence approach to life is not a new one for me. When asked which football team I support, I reply, “I just like football, and I enjoy great games.” Even my husband gets frustrated with me when I express my boredom over a Viking blowout. We are a country who loves taking sides, evidenced in every football arena around the country on any given fall Sunday. The problem with taking sides when it comes to legislating this country is that people in blue see people in red as the enemy, and vice versa, and when they are enemies they can hardly work as a team.
I will take sides watching the game this weekend because it is fun to go through the emotional ups and downs of a football game. Plus, it is just that, a game. We need the leaders who are currently taking sides at the political game, as fun as it may be to play, who realize that it is no longer recreational fun when this country needs jobs and healthcare and leadership that listens and doesn’t yell.