Cartier: Talk blue, live red | VailDaily.com

Cartier: Talk blue, live red

A theme during my campaign was, most people who talk blue, actually live red. Most of us affiliate with the political party, which we feel best represents our greatest values — although, not necessarily, all of them. Both parties, Democrat (blue) and Republican (red) seek to find solutions to some of our most complex problems, with the overall objective of making things better. The challenges come, in its focus and implementation.

I just read the “The Secret Knowledge” by David Mamet (2011), a playwright and Hollywood icon. He discusses his political conversion from dedicated liberal to strong conservative. He details it as a logical journey; where opinions are clarified, facts presented and conclusions drawn. It is not an emotional journey, but one where he begins to question the differences between what he says, what he does and how he lives. He came face-to-face with the fact that he talked blue but lived red. That defines many.

It made me think how that idea can be best expressed, in the hopes that we begin to realize that we have much more in common than cable news would have us believe.

The fact is, that most who profess Liberal (blue) ideas, actually live with Conservative (red) values. Despite political rhetoric, we tend to live our personal, professional and community lives, conservatively. We raise our families conservatively, conduct our businesses conservatively, engage in the community conservatively, etc. We care about those in need yet realize that there are limitations to what we can do.

Perhaps, it is the realization that if we give away everything, there won’t be anything left to sustain ourselves, and thus, we may soon find ourselves with an inability to help anyone. It’s like the airline warning about placing the oxygen mask on yourself then assisting others, because an unconscious person is of no use to anyone and will likely perish. The same is true for governments. This is the reason why the ideals of Socialism fail time and time again. … It is unsustainable and kills the human spirit, which is required for civilizations to grow and prosper. Yet, that doesn’t mean that we are indifferent to the needs of others. We must simply find a balanced solution that benefits all. We must also believe in the power of the human spirit and the unique talents of each. The success of our nation is due to its independence, determination to succeed and an environment where talent and innovation can flourish.

The Democrats’ platform of social values provides talking points to which few would disagree. But, as they say, the devil is in the details — and what we give up in exchange for certain “benefits.” The Republicans love the inherent sense of fortitude and independence, which founded our country and continues to drive innovation that influences the world.

One formula (blue) likes to provide cash, the other (red) opportunity. Neither is bad, but without opportunity — just money, particularly in barely sustainable amounts — not only inhibits opportunity but also kills the soul by demanding dependency and strict adherence to prescribed action — and even thought. Once accepted, the greatest loss to the recipients is the ability to build dreams and to provide a better future for their families.

With opportunity, sacrifice comes on the front end — a struggle for essentials as we work towards something greater. Or, on the back end, via limited cash handouts, there’s no hope for living out potential, for creating a vision of success, for making a difference in the world (local or global).

When we think of idealism, we often envision a “Kumbaya” world, where everyone gets along, we share all we have, there are no disagreements and everyone is the same. The problem is that we are human, so the need for self-fulfillment and individuality will ultimately outweigh the desire to “share.”

That sense of communal identity, while simultaneously dividing the country according to identity groups, is counterproductive. In the United States, we recognize differences, appreciate/respect unique characteristics of individual groups and connect with common values. We are the only country that has accomplished this mission. Yet, it is not without flaws, which is why we are always seeking better ways of doing things.

Improvements only happen with discussion. When one group shuts down the other, that intolerance creates divisiveness, which prohibits growth. Blue and red need one another, to create balanced approaches to sustainable solutions. We all want to dream blue (idealistic), but we live in a red (pragmatic) world. Let’s establish and continue the dialogue.