I feel bad for the fine people of Shawnee Indivisible.
They invited me to come to their meeting Sunday and discuss the results of the recent mid-term elections. The group is non-partisan, but given the spontaneous round of applause when Kendra Horn's congressional election upset was mentioned, I think it is safe to say that most in the group are pretty progressive in their political leanings.
The great thing about the group is that they will discuss all sides of an issue without insulting people who disagree. There is a lot of value in that.
It was also a lot of fun. I had never been to one of their meetings before, so as the conversation continued for a couple of hours, I assumed that was normal. Heck, two hours for me talking about newspapers or politics or both is just a warm-up.
It turns out we were well past the expected end of the festivities.
No one was complaining though.
A group of people who are well-informed and will ask challenging questions while allowing room for people of other political persuasions to hold and express dissenting opinions has become a rarity in our hyper-polarized political arena.
If there were more discussions of "how can we accomplish a common goal" instead of "how can we get a political win for our party on this issue" the state and country would be far better off.
I want to believe we can get there one day, but that isn't the direction we are heading.
When one member of the group asked me what I thought it would take to unify people across party lines, my answer might have been a little shocking.
I said World War III.
I wasn't being sarcastic or clever. The last time the country was truly united in an effort was in World War II. Even after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the national unity was fleeting and politics as usual continue to careen down a partisan path.
Maybe I'm wrong - it has happened before - but I can't see a situation short of World War III that could accomplish that goal.
Shawnee Indivisible is an active and inclusive group. I had a great time meeting with them and sharing ideas. There should be more people in their group and more groups like theirs in the world.