The vocal and vicious partisanship that has gripped our political system seems to be winding down a bit, at least for the moment. It is as if everyone shouted and blustered until they were all blustered out. This lull is a welcome break from the frenzied, bitter feelings on both sides. Everyone said what they had to say and now the air is beginning to clear a little. Everyone knows where they stand and perhaps it is possible to move on to actual dialogue and cooperation.
This has been an interesting period, because so many average Americans have come forward to voice their views, hopes, frustrations and fears. After decades of keeping a tight lid on our public emotions, it was actually refreshing, and I think liberating. When things are actually spoken aloud they are much easier to examine, reconsider and understand in new ways. Not since the 1960s have Americans been this vocal about the things that bother them.
Perhaps now, we can sit down together and find some common ground and actually address some of the problems we face as a society and as individuals. Once all the wild emotions are spent, all that is left is the reality of what we think and feel, and these things can be worked through and worked out. Of course things will heat up again as we navigate our way through health care and financial reform, but the levels of hostility and emotional outrage are not likely to reach the level they were at just weeks ago, our rage energy has been spent.
So here we go . . . moving on, a little less like petulant children than we have been in recent months.