Across All Our Aisles

To The Paris News

Guest Column by Charlotte Coyle

Once again, I want to compliment our party chairs for the Party Views column offered regularly by The Paris News. This last one (Sunday, June 9, 2019) was especially good. Both Gary O’Connor and Chris Dux stuck to their point without (much) snark or (many) red flag words. This is what we want: your well reasoned rationale for your position. We readers are pretty discerning: we can see right through Straw Man arguments that attempt to sensationalize and demonize the other side.

Both Mr. O’Connor and Mr. Dux commented on the bipartisan efforts of our Texas Legislators displayed in this past legislative session. As O’Connor pointed out, one reason this across the aisle cooperation happened is because there are more Democrats seated in the House and the Senate since the 2018 midterm shift.

This is a good thing.

This greater balance is good for Texas and I hope all of us applaud the many ways more people can now participate in our public and political conversations. When most of our Representatives are White Christian Republican Males then we all suffer because this demographic does not at all represent the wide diversity of Texans. Even though the love of my life is a White Christian Male and I am ever so blessed to have him in my house, in the Texas House and Senate I expect a healthy balance of men and women, Republican and Democrat and Independent, a variety of Christian as well as non-Christian, gay and straight, rich and poor, white and black and brown. Only then will Texans be appropriated represented. Only then will our public laws and policies reflect the needs of all of us and protect the rights of everyone.

This political process is what our Founders intended. Even though I doubt they could have envisioned the diversity we enjoy today, still they understood that checks and balances force cooperation and ensure a process that limits the tyranny of the majority.

This is a good thing.

My hope is that we Texans will not feel this cooperation with one another is a burden but will instead recognize the gift and will take more opportunities to connect with our neighbors who think differently than we.

Consider checking out the On Being Civil Conversations Project on-line. Or look into the good work of Living Room Conversations and Better Angels. May more and more of us take the initiative to reach across all our various aisles.

Find the Civil Conversations Project here:

Join a Living Room Conversation here:

See what the Better Angels effort is doing here:

Charlotte Coyle is a retired minister who lives in Paris. She blogs about intersections of faith, politics and culture at her website: