Early this morning, I was watching a stage of the Tour de France recorded on Bastille Day. The infamous truck attack was still hours away and the video showed thousands of French and other bike racing fans playfully and enthusiastically watching the race. The English commentators mentioned several times that it was Bastille Day so all of France was celebrating, akin to our 4th of July. There were also multiple mentions of jubilant firework displays happening later that night.
Knowing what would happen a few hours later was disturbing, to say the least. I kept wondering if any of the fans in the crowd, especially any of the numerous children (I’m a dad), were murdered later that day.
In the US, this is an election year, meaning the people have more control than usual over the day-to-day functioning of Congress and the President. For years, Congress has done nothing about major issues — including those related to violence — because the politicians in our two major parties seem barely able to be in the same room together, let alone actually talk to each other (rather than Tweet or give soundbites to CNN). With so many critical issues facing the US, I’d like to humbly suggest that everyone asks their representatives to behave like adults and talk to — not at — their peers and work to compromise to make progress rather than figure out how to win political points by being intractable. It has been said that politics is the art of the practical. I think it’s time to remind Congress of that.