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Work together to win the three-legged race

When my pal Billy and I were about 10 years old our community had a "Fall Frolic" celebration in thanks for the harvest with all varieties of kid races and contests. Billy and I entered the three-legged race. You know how that works -- two racers run side by side with their inside legs tied together. We practiced and practiced until we had our moves coordinated and could run as one. We had it cold. We either ran in unison or we lost. We won in a breeze and we did it again the following year. We were highly motivated because there were cash prizes and they were generous.

On the subject of two guys operating as one, there was a movie, "The Defiant Ones" years ago about two guys, one black and one white, deep dark hating enemies, prisoners together in a chain gang, who managed to escape while still chained to one another and had to cooperate to survive. I'm not allowed to tell you how it turned out, but I can assure you the going wasn't easy.

And now we have a new congress, many of whom campaigned like they would like to go to Washington and rip somebody's heart out. Have you ever seen so much negative campaigning in your life? Nasty. Vicious. Do you know of any mature, serious citizen who enjoyed the slashing? And now everybody is determined to reduce spending presumably while cutting somebody's taxes. But whose taxes get cut and whose don't? Who'll give up earmarks and who won't? Who wants to dump the medical care program and who doesn't? Who would support tax benefits for companies that export jobs and who wouldn't? Who will compromise and who won't? Who is willing to sit tight and do nothing for two years, and who wants to get something done now?

Which side are you on? Doesn't matter. What nobody seems willing to consider is that if they are determined to stall and do nothing for two years (which some apparently are -- at full pay of course), time will not stand still and compromises will have to be made and the nasty, vicious, mud slinging deep, dark enemies are going to have to run in unison for awhile to get anywhere. The truth is, we are chained together and if two (or three) sides insist on pulling in opposite directions, we will not survive. Somebody has to grow up and stop playing games. Who will be the first to cross the line and extend the hand of conciliation?