Listening and hearing from the other 'tribe'

| September 15, 2020 1:00 AM

I had cause recently to have a discussion with an Idaho State Patrol officer.

From the beginning, he was kind and respectful, so much so that, as he started to walk back to his patrol car, I asked him to wait. I told him that I am a Democrat, that I wanted him to know that I respect him as an officer, respect what he does and respect law enforcement in general. I told him that my Democrat friends share my feelings as do my Republican friends.

Noting that I had said that I am a Democrat, he said that he thought that the leadership of the Democrats has lost its way. I, of course, demurred. I asked him if he agreed that there is a difference between the protesters and the rioters; he said that for sure he did. I asked him to go back to his fellow officers and tell them what I said about the collective respect I had told him about. We shook hands and we both left.

The reason that this story is important is that the two of us, law officer and Democrat, were able to listen to each other without tribalism raising its ugly head. It  was an experience that I will always treasure because I was so afraid that I had lost the ability to listen to, to really hear, people from the other “tribe.”

ILENE BELL

Sandpoint