By Nana Dadzie Ghansah
I wrote this piece ten years ago. The times we live in made me want to repost it. They were my thoughts before I got sworn in as a citizen on March 19, 2010.
March 12, 2010
In about a week, I will be sworn in as a US citizen in the courthouse in downtown Lexington. This event will be the culmination of a 13 year-long journey.
After all, I should be excited because I get to be a citizen of a great nation with endless opportunities. Like an orphan, I should be happy that I have wealthy parents who will adopt me.
Unlike the orphan, though, I have been able to observe my prospective parents for several years before my adoption and what I see troubles me.
It’s not the economy; it’s not even terrorism, race relationships, or gender politics. It is the unwillingness of those in power to understand each other, try to see things the other person’s way. It is almost a total aversion to finding the middle ground.
The political landscape is as contentious as it’s ever been. Liberal can’t stand conservative. Republicans are at the throat of Democrats. Either you are with us or against us. Whatever the other person believes in is bad for the country. And on and on it goes.
The political process in this country has been turned into a zero-sum game. And so at one point or the other, the government is swung to extremes — right or left.
Like a couple on the verge of divorce, the other cannot do anything right.
I am reminded of an old movie from 1989 titled “War of the Roses,” starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. In what was akin to a divorce deathmatch, one watches the tragedy of two people in a marriage gone sour (Oliver and Barbara Rose) who refuse to find a middle ground.
At the moment, I look at the US and can help but think, “Oh God, I am being adopted by the Roses!”
Whatever happened to finding a compromise? Respecting the other point of view? Working together for the good of the country. Sometimes neither the conservative nor liberal view is right. Sometimes, it’s just common sense…