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One Step Toward the Unification of America
To paraphrase a statement from President-Elect Joe Biden:
“We are not Democrats. We are not Republicans
We are Americans!”
That said, one step the United States House of Representatives and Senate should take is eliminating the division between Republicans and Democrats in both chambers. If you look at these two photos, you see a distinctive aisle separating the parties – Republican on one side. Democrats on the other.
United States House Chamber
United States Senate Chamber
I make the same recommendation for my state of West Virginia. The House of Delegates and Senate are divided similarly.
West Virginia Delegate Chamber
West Virginia Senate Chamber
Why do we have one party on one side and the other party on the other? The best answer my research uncovered is, “It’s always been that way.” That screams division! Physically and politically. Remember: “We are not Republicans We are not Democrats. We are Americans.”
Therefore, I am suggesting, for both Washington and at my state level, seating by random draw, or another objective method at the beginning of each new session. The aisles would remain, but the members would be unified as Americans and West Virginians…in theory.
With this unification, members would be able to easily interact, act questions, talk informally, and discuss potential compromises. It is amazing what one can learn about one another and themselves when they just sit, talk, and listen (yes listen) without the pressure of party powers in one’s ear. Get to know one another as people, not party members.
This plan effectively eliminates the physical division and hopefully, with time, will bring the parties closer together. After all, both parties have the same goals, just a different way of achieving those goals. Slowly, with cooperation and compromise, we just might be able to see the ‘We vs Them’ turn into ‘US.’ Of course, the parties would retain their caucus rooms to discuss party candidates, policies, and legislative matters.
Also, I would like to see two small flags on each desk at the federal and state level. One, the United States Flag and the other, their respective State flag.
These flags would be a constant reminder to those seated that they were elected by the people of their state to represent them at their respective State Capitol or in Washington, D. C.These flags would also symbolize they are Americans, Americans elected to serve the people who placed them in those seats.
And that is the way I see it…Democracy through these eyes.
Michael S. Lambiotte
“Your humor is absolutely spot-on and intelligent, peppered with a bit of sarcasm and childlike wonder. Your stories have that element of memory, poignant and comic at times, but always heartfelt and affecting. Your language is simple and friendly, weaved seamlessly in your narrative that is consistently lighthearted and warm in tone. Your experience as a teacher shows in your elaborate, playful descriptions and your sharp, unpretentious irony. I am also impressed with the way your structured the book—as a collection of short stories in no chronological order as opposed to one big chunk of episodic chapters that are more or less akin to a journal. It serves the tone and heart of your words perfectly.”
“Mike: Thank you for the copy of your book “Life through these Eyes.”
I am honored that you gave me one of the first copies. I have had the opportunity to read several chapters today and must say that I am impressed. You are a very talented writer. Congratulations my friend! Best, Andy”