My old friend Bruce and I were talking last week. After a couple of letters to the editor of The Asheville Citizen Times he got a call. It seems they like his take on world and local events and would like to have him as a contributor with his own column. Bruce is retired from the corporate world and from the Marine Corps. He’s got some time and he’s smart, and he has 4 Purple Hearts.
The thing that sets him apart from some others is that while he is a Vietnam infantry leader veteran with duty deep in the jungles of that war, he is also progressive in his politics. Unlike many who served, Bruce has not become hardened into blind patriotism or a mentality of vengeance for supposed grievances. He is neither strictly “red” or “blue,” he’s purple.
Many of our leaders over the past decades have tried to unite the left and the right by reminding us that we are not blue states or red states, we are the United States. Most Americans do care for the unity and well being of our nation, and for helping those among us who need help the most. For all our faults, we have a legacy of compassion.
If we could look at a “Bell Curve” of our nation’s socioeconomic and political leanings, the vast middle of the curve would be where we Americans reside. We are not totally red or blue, we are purple. This is a huge thing to build on if we can sort through the barrage of profit-through-fear messages and propaganda fed through our media.
Bruce was asking my advice on how to format and structure his column. I suggested that he keep doing what he’s been doing. Evidently they like what he has to say and how he says it. I also suggested that he call his new column “Purple Heart.” We are one people with many different worldviews, but in the heart of the curve, in that purple heart, is where most of us reside. Bruce has a message we need to hear.
I guess the vast majority of folks (read middle class) do reside in the central part of the bell curve in most countries. What becomes more relevant is the impact they have on policy changes.