On Oct. 21 I was enjoying the afternoon campaigning in Hillsboro and knocked on a door.
After explaining to the man who answered that I was seeking elected office, he asked if I was a Republican or a Democrat. When I said I was a Democrat he made several comments concluding “I would rather shoot you than talk to you!” His remarks matched that of a presidential candidate and his favorite cable news network.
Had I considered it safe to respond, I would have suggested to the man that he would rather shoot me because if he talked to me, he might realize the accusations he made about me were lies and stereotypes.
Contrary to his allegation, I do not love killing babies.
We need to do better, to go beyond the hate and fear this encounter demonstrated.
We need to realize that people we disagree with are not our enemies and have the courage not just to talk with them, but to listen.
In 1861, with the country on the brink of civil war, President Lincoln appealed for us to be touched “by the better angels of our nature.”
We dearly need the better angels of our nature today.
Talking calmly, respectfully and rationally with our neighbors with whom we may disagree, I believe, is a good place to start.
(Pederson is a candidate in the District 20 House race.)