Contrary to the belief of some, bipartisanship in politics is not dead but it is on life support. The political parties have moved so far to the left and right that it is hard to reach compromise, which is what historically has been the goal of governance. But nowadays it is mostly all or nothing when dealing with political issues.

But Democrat UAB grad and Bama supporter, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and Republican Auburn grad Gov. Kay Ivey are attempting to revive the old saying, "You can disagree without be disagreeable."

They are participating in the National Governors Association’s “Disagree Better” initiative which aims to set a new standard for political discourse in governments at all levels.

The nation’s increasingly combative, and sometimes violent, political landscape has leaders concerned that all levels of politics are becoming too polarized to get much accomplished from city hall to county courthouses, state capitols to Washington D.C.

The goal is to get, not only political leaders, but the populous to talk with each other, not at each other. It is a subject that has many Americans concerned for where the current lack of civility is taking us.

A study by Pew Reasearch in 2019 found a majority of Americans were able to agree about one thing, the tone of political debate in the country has become more negative, less respectful, less fact-based and less substantive in recent years. It has only become worse since.

Social media and opinion dominated cable television news is largely to blame for people only listening to those they agree with and not even considering the other side might have a point.

This is where the National Governors Association is stepping in. According to their website, through the Disagree Better Initiative, Governors are joining forces to, "Reduce partisan animosity and foster healthy debate by modeling a more positive and optimistic way of working through policy problems."

In the Gospel of Mark 3:25, Jesus states, "And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand." When running for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln utilized that passage to emphasize the divisions that eventually led to the Civil War.

In their recorded message Mayor Maddox put forth an idea that both politicians back, "We believe you can disagree and still listen and understand."  He added it is important to, "... put in the effort to understand each other's perspectives." That doesn't mean you have to always agree but as Gov. Ivey added, "We must learn to disagree better."

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