More than a year remains before we as a nation vote to elect the next President of the United States; for some, the coming year will feel like five. Already, increasingly bombastic rhetoric on both sides clearly illuminates the deep divide we face. So many comments made in the name of public – and credit union – discourse are at best judgmental and at worst downright hateful.

Modeling Cooperation in Word and Deed

It’s funny, but I have friends across the political spectrum who will read this and absolutely agree, then lay all the blame at the door of the “other side.” Simple conversations can easily spin out of control, especially when discussing how politics and our shared credit union world could (or should) intersect. For example, I have close friends who believe the CFPB is a godsend, and others who are so against the bureau, it might as well be the anti-Christ. Who is right?

It’s important to remember that one of our core values is cooperation, and I believe that to be more cooperative we have to find a better way to get along. Sometimes I read or hear comments, from both our rank-and-files and our thought leaders, and am left to wonder with whom we really want to cooperate? Is it just those who see the world exactly as we see it? Or people with different, sometimes opposing viewpoints? Does our public dialogue model the spirit of cooperation, or is it judgmental, condemning, or divisive? Is our rhetoric so strong that we are willing to alienate the people in the middle?

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