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Everywhere I go I find a pal

Everywhere I go  I find a pal Everywhere I go  I find a pal

Peter Weinschenk, Editor, The Record-Review

“Utter acrimony” That is how New York Times reporter Nicholas Fandos described the poisoned relations between U.S. Senate Democrats and Republicans on Tuesday as the two parties maneuvered over crucial rules in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

This bad blood is not Washington’s invention. The same bitter feelings reside across the nation.

According to the political website 538, the nation is pretty well split down the middle over whether President Trump should be removed from office. The division between the parties is striking. Eighty-four percent of Democrats want Trump out. Ninetythree percent of Republicans want to keep the controversial chief executive.

All of this division works itself down to the level of families, co-workers and friends. Sometimes, these political disagreements turn into shouting matches. Mostly, people retreat into scared silence.

My question is how do we, as a country, emerge from this hellhole of division?

The only answer I can come up with is love.

For the past four nights, I have concluded my prayers at supper with a loving-kindness meditation for our President Donald John Trump.

These prayers were not solicited by the White House. And I would imagine Trump himself might laugh at my humble efforts.

That’s fine. I name the president and say the following words: May you have peace. May you have ease. May you have love. May you have health.

I will admit that saying these 16 words was, at first, not easy. The words burned in my mouth.

More recently, however, I am more at ease saying a prayer for the president. I find it calming. And I find that it helps place the political craziness we experience day after day in a better frame.

Importantly, I am less reactive. I cannot wallow in indignant outrage over this or that political headline over someone who I pray over.

Curiously, saying my 16 words has not made me a political softie. Quite the contrary. I was at a recent political event and suffered the angry, bitter complaints of a Trump supporter. I stood my ground. I didn’t escalate, I didn’t confront. But I think I had more confidence that my political intuitions were rooted in a good place.

I follow politics. And I have followed the Ukraine affair with President Trump very closely. This is a big deal to me. Like other Americans, I am eager to understand the fuller picture of how Trump tried to pressure the Ukrainian President Zelensky and, going further, how the Russians are connected to any or all of this.

But I have come to understand that some questions are more important than others.

We have the questions that the senators in the next couple weeks will answer. Can Trump escape removal from office because, even if everything the Democrats allege is true, President Trump never committed a crime? Can the Senate even pretend to be fair jurors in President Trumps’ trial with what is likely to be a party-line vote for acquittal?

But there is a question that puts all of these questions in perspective. Where is the love?