I am somewhat of a political junky and marvel at how hard the political opponents are on each other.
I often wonder how they can ever talk to each other after the nasty they things they say about each other.
I know of two stories about this that are very interesting to me. First, Orrin Hatch and Ted Kennedy. I picked up this bit from Politico.
“Disagreements over policy, however, were never personal with Ted. I recall a debate over increasing the minimum wage. Ted had launched into one of his patented histrionic speeches, the kind where he flailed his arms and got red in the face, spewing all sorts of red meat liberal rhetoric. When he finished, he stepped over to the minority side of the Senate chamber, put his arm around my shoulder, and said with a laugh and a grin, “How was that, Orrin?” That is both amazing and reassuring to me.
I also heard a story of Hubert Humphrey talking with Nixon in his last days. Here is an excerpt from and article in the about his last days. Waverly Herald on Humphrey.
“In fact, right before he died he asked Woitalla if there was anyone she could think of that he may have offended. “He wanted to make amends before he died,” Woitalla said.
Right before his death, on Christmas Day, Woitalla recalled, Humphrey put a call in to his former foe in the 1968 presidential election, Richard Nixon, only to learn of the depressed state of the Nixons. He then invited Nixon to his upcoming funeral, which Nixon accepted.” Irene Woitalla was a friend of his.
Each of these stories has a special lesson for all of us. The Hatch/Kennedy story reminds us that some interactions
need not be personal, but that we often need to remind our friends that they are not.
The Humphrey/Nixon story is that of making amends to our enemies. These guys went after each other hard, and Humphrey was big enough to call Nixon and make amends. Nixon may never have left his exile in Sam
Clemente if it hadn’t been for this generous act. I’m sure Nixon made amends to Humphrey. Regardless of how one feels about either one, the lesson is to make amends. In these guys cases, it brought peace to both.