“Give me three good reasons why…”
According to those who attended, The Times of London reported Queen Elizabeth II held an elegant salon for an inner circle of British thought leaders. Appetites were whetted not for the food but the conversation.
Discussion was aimed at whether Britain should remain in or leave the EU. But it was how she posed the question that got raves: “Give me three good reasons why.”
The Queen’s 90 year old inquiring mind called for fresh debate without stifling dissent, and her eagerness for thoughtful answers brought all backbenchers to their feet. Long live the Queen, indeed.
In our country, stifling debate is a national pastime. From the Attorney General to Ivy college campuses, to Twitter trolls, to mainstream media, we don’t debate, we disdain or we shame those who dare debate against us; and if you happen to attend the wrong party’s campaign rally, protestors are permitted to clobber you over the head with impunity.
The Queen’s point (as the media made clear) wasn’t to take sides but to get to the bottom of a complex question.
Can that happen in America?
Maybe our country’s leader (and in fairness, the leadership of both parties) could be persuaded to act more, shall we say, royal?
Why not bring together in one room in the White House the brightest minds on all sides of the immigration, foreign policy, gun control issue and ask, ‘give me three good reasons why.” No one leaves until there is a plan.
Compromise is a beautiful thing. It is based on early 15th Century Middle French formation that means both sides ‘co promise’ to agree with a wise arbitrator’s decision.
600 years later we have yet to find a better way forward.