Cast Votes for Candidates Who Promote Collaboration

Most people recognize that they have more in common with their neighbors than differences

By Dave Hadden

Maybe you’ve had this experience: Whether you work as a high-, mid-, or lower-level employee for a company, teach in a school, or manage state or federal public lands, you work with colleagues to get the job – your job, the company job – accomplished.

What’s another word for that? Collaboration. The world works on the basis collaboration. That’s how we get good things done. “Teamwork” is another word for collaboration

Last time I checked, most people recognize that they have more in common with their neighbors than differences. Yes, there can be some annoying differences – like their choice of lawn ornaments. But fundamentally, we all require food, housing, our families, our communities, and government services to prosper.

When a natural disaster strikes, whether it’s a Missouri flood, Hurricane Katrina, or a forest fire here at home we respond as a community and put our petty differences aside. We collaborate, work together, pull ourselves up as a community. Ideology, religion, our choice of clothes –the lawn ornaments of our lives – don’t matter.

Our sense of community represents a deep natural wisdom. It’s ageless and perhaps our greatest trait as human beings. We should exercise this wisdom.

Now let’s turn to our country’s political situation. We have two dominant parties. Republicans and Democrats. Do they work collaboratively? I can hear you saying, “Of course not!”

And yet we wonder why Washington is a mess.

Ted Cruz recently endorsed Donald Trump because, he said, he gained assurance from the Trump campaign that only “conservative” judges would be nominated for the Supreme Court. Here’s an example of ideology before wisdom, and division before collaboration.

Trump has called Cruz “a sniveling coward.” He threatened to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife. He suggested that Cruz’s father was linked to President Kennedy’s assassination. Trump’s rhetoric and actions have served to dominate, divide, and conquer. In other words, to put ideology and himself first.

Cruz, a self-professed religious man, said, “After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience,” that he decided to vote for Trump.

“After many months.” What took him so long? Obviously, Cruz is not connected to our deep wisdom, despite thinking he’s religious. His own style as a senator demonstrates his preference for not working “across the aisle” to accomplish national needs and priorities. He doesn’t collaborate for the country.

No wonder he can ignore Trump’s deeply offensive, immoral attacks. This will be how Trump governs if elected. This is how Cruz will come slinking back to a place of power in a Trump government.

Thankfully, we live in a free country. We have the vote.

How will you use your vote? Will you cast it for candidates who promote collaboration and teamwork, for the way you work each and every day? Or will you vote for candidates who take hard line positions and divides neighbor against neighbor?

As individuals and citizens we actually have the ability to make Washington – and Helena – function better. However, if we vote for candidates who can’t or won’t work collaboratively, for egomaniacs, power-seekers, and ideologues, we’ll only have ourselves to blame.

Ultimately, how we prosper as a country and a state, and as a people comes down to how we vote. And whether we vote wisely or for our ideology, our annoying lawn ornaments, the things that don’t really matter.

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