Messenger: Better Together thought it was starting a campaign, and a debate broke out

By on February 12, 2019

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  Jason Crowell taught me an important lesson.

It was toward the end of the Cape Girardeau Republican’s career in the Missouri Senate, and Crowell was engaged in a debate with a brash young Republican named Kurt Schaefer.

Both attorneys, the two men were going at it pretty good. Crowell was getting under Schaefer’s skin, and at some point, the first-termer from Columbia questioned Crowell’s motivations. In the whispers of the stately hallways of the Missouri Capitol, this was not an uncommon occurrence. Crowell was notorious for standing up against bills, many different bills, and even his closest colleagues sometimes couldn’t figure out why.

But on the floor of the Senate, this is, or was, at least, a no-no.

Crowell launched into a thunderous lecture of his GOP colleague about debating issues, not personalities.

It’s a lesson that could well apply to many areas of life, but in today’s raucously divided political landscape, one that could help folks turn down the temperature on discussions with our friends, neighbors, colleagues and total strangers on various social media platforms.

It’s a lesson that has been in the forefront of my mind as St. Louis debarks on what could be two years or longer of intense and personal debate over the future governance of our region. Are we Better Together, or shall we simply continue the playground spats that started in second grade at St. Margaret of Scotland?

In St. Louis, memories are long, and questioning motivations isn’t a strategy, it’s DNA. This is especially true in political and media circles.

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About Dede Hance