Senate should reclaim position

Robust substantive debates are part of our political history, but the recent level of hyperbole, rhetoric and “otherizing” those with opposing positions is an affront to both civility and our democracy.

Those engaging in political debate need to recognize that people with opposing views are equal stakeholders, not the enemy.

Villainizing the motive of those who disagree with us is not only dangerous, it impedes honest debate on the merits. We need to come together, embrace and respect our compatriots, even those with differing opinion.

I have long noted there is no easier way to demonstrate respect for someone than to listen to what they say, and that there is no easier way to convey contempt for someone than to not listen — although, maybe denying those opposing views a forum may be easier.

It is time for the Senate to reclaim its position as the “more deliberative chamber” of Congress.

The Senate should be deliberating the merits of all the suggestions on how to improve our health care system, rather than the positions of only a third of the nation.

I implore the Senate to work so that all stakeholders, all constituents, all positions are represented in the debate over health care.

Lyle Cope