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Davis Journal

The Power of ANDerson

Oct 08, 2021 12:33PM ● By Kathleen and Rob Anderson

(Editor’s Note: Rob and Kathleen Anderson are joining The Davis Journal team as columnists and will be contributing on a regular basis. We welcome them.)

We are the Andersons.

Rob is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. After graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1989, he flew the F-15 for the next 22 years. Presently, he is a Captain with American Airlines. A few years ago, he served as the Chairman of the Davis County Republican Party, and then as Chairman of the Utah Republican Party from 2017-2019.

This past election cycle, Kathleen ran for U.S. Congress in Utah’s 4th Congressional District.

When approached to write a weekly political column from a conservative point of view, we were inclined to politely decline. Not because we don’t hold strong opinions (we certainly do), and not because we haven’t spent many years – decades even – serving within the political arena (we certainly have), but because, like many of you, we’re tired.

Tired of the contention.

Tired of not knowing what to believe. 

Tired of not knowing who to trust. 

Tired of the bullying.

Tired of the shaming.

Tired of the hypocrisy.

Tired of the rhetoric.

Tired of the incessant fear porn.

Tired of rules being applied selectively. 

Tired of laws being applied selectively.

My husband and I were born in the 1960s. Occasionally, when a person of a younger generation wants to flippantly dismiss us, our position, or our opinion, they will refer to us as “boomers.” We are not, however, part of the Boomer Generation, but rather, Generation X.

Sometimes it feels like Generation X is ignored. We’re not sure why. We’ve spent our lives working hard, raising our families, and trying to uphold the ideals our parents taught us. Our parents, in turn, were raised by what is often called “the Greatest Generation.” The generation born before the Great Depression, and who fought in WWII. The generation whose mantra was “Service before Self.”

Those are our immediate predecessors.

They set the bar high for us.

Our generation came of age during the 1980s.

We didn’t realize then what an idyllic time that was.

We don’t recall a time in our lives when political tensions were as high as they are today.

What’s changed?

In our opinion, social media has replaced the public square. Disagreements used to occur in person – face to face. Now, far too many occur behind the anonymity of a keyboard. We hurl insults, threats, and malign individuals with the mere tap of a button. It has created tremendous incivility.

Everything seems to have become a zero sum game.

It’s this. Or it’s that. Apparently, it cannot be both.

Compromise and negotiation have become four-letter words.

It’s all or it’s nothing.

We demand everything, and won’t accept less than everything (and then some).

We’ve forgotten the power of *and. Life isn’t either/or.

It’s OK to do this AND that.

We don’t run our households and marriages the way many demand we run government. If we do, both institutions ultimately fail.

Our pledge to you is that our column will not add to the ongoing incivility. We will not engage in rhetoric. We will not come here every week proclaiming that the sky is falling, nor that our ideas are the only way.

As we’ve aged, we’ve readily realized that the more we learn, the less we know.

The world has become complicated in so many ways. What isn’t complicated, however, is the ability to listen, to be kind and to act with integrity. 

A wise person once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” It’s our hope that through this column, we can convey our thoughts, feelings and ideas to you in a way that fosters a conversation that brings about something positive.

Kathleen and Rob

The Power of ANDerson