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Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior adviser at Akin Gump, represented South Florida in Congress for three decades.
past four years have taught me that, when talking about politics, we
must find a way forward that treats others with respect, even when we
disagree strongly with them. What has happened to the cliché we would
use when the differences in our opinions seemed insurmountable: “Let’s
agree to disagree”? Now we think we must fight to the death, to cling
stubbornly to our positions and cede no ground. On all sides of the
political spectrum, we stick to our own views because to do otherwise
would seem weak. It is not enough that I win. I must insist that you
We have forgotten that we are all
Americans. We all fundamentally want the same things: life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness. If we can have something in common with our
Founding Fathers of 244 years ago, surely we have common ground now.
Let’s look for it and stop assuming the worst of our neighbors because
of their campaign yard signs. Let’s make a concerted effort to debate
and disagree with others but to not berate them, belittle them or call
them names. Enough. Basta ya.
The Trump administration helped Israel broker
three normalization-of-relations deals with Arab nations all before
striking an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. That went against the
conventional wisdom of top foreign policy minds in the US.
In 2016, for instance, then-Secretary of State John Kerry
said “there will be no advanced and separate peace with the Arab world
without the Palestinian process and Palestinian peace. Everybody needs
to understand that.”
Trump and his team clearly decided — and proved — that
view was wrong. Israel now has improved relations with the United Arab
Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan because of the administration’s efforts.