Disagreeing, agreeably

One of the greatest benefits of working in advertising is that every so often you get to attend private, invitation only events that you would not otherwise.   I had just such an opportunity when I was invited to The Economist magazine’s, “The World in 2011” Gala.  I was especially keen to attend as Bill Clinton was the honored speaker.  Anyone who has ever been in the physical presence of Bill Clinton can attest to not only his charisma, but his awe-inspiring knowledge of copious amounts of facts.  But it wasn’t Clinton who made the most important comment that night.

In the opening comments by David Franklin, the Executive Editor of The World in 2011, he spoke of The Economist’s mission of reporting the facts surrounding events around the world.  By providing readers with the facts, the readers are then left to form their own opinions.  And those opinions, he acknowledged, will vary.  This is where disagreement will arise.  Disagreement is inevitable.  The challenge today, however, is how do we get back to an era of disagreeing, agreeably.   That is what this country was founded on.  We have never agreed, but we have respectfully disagreed.  And those times, I would argue, have been the moments of our country’s greatest triumphs.

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