Given the political atmosphere and the extreme controversy over recent elections, most of us wouldn’t hesitate to believe that the right and left sides of the aisle have never been farther apart or at odds than they are now. And not just in Washington. It’s with very good reason that the topic of politics has been pretty much banned in all working environments.
Then again, maybe things aren’t quite all that bad, based on images recently taken in Congress that show that the divide between the two sides may not be all that vast after all.
As you may have heard by now, Representative Kevin McCarthy just lost his bid to become Nancy Pelosi’s replacement as Speaker of the House. When it came time to vote, a total of 19 republicans voted against him assuming the position. Naturally, most Democrats did as well.
But this isn’t really the surprising part. After all, McCarthy has had more than his fair share of opponents within his own party as of late, especially since the midterm elections did not result in a sweeping red wave as McCarthy and other party leaders promised.
No, the surprising part is who was caught talking to who after the failed McCarthy vote.
Enter New York liberal and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. As you likely know, she’s arguably the most hated and debated member of the progressive left. She is also one of the most vocal. As such, she’s rarely seen even in the same room, let alone in the same conversation as those on the opposite side of the fence.
And yet, shortly after the vote, she was spotted speaking to a few of her Republican colleagues. Even more surprising is that the conversations that seemed to be occurring made her smile. She was actually being nice to them even.
Now, I imagine that a few of you are guessing that she must have been speaking to Republicans in name only (RINOs) or those who just barely align with the right. However, you’d be wrong.
In fact, she spoke to two of the most notoriously conservative members of the House and the Republican Party: Paul Gosar of Arizona and Matt Gaetz of Florida.
Gaetz, if you remember, is one who is so pro-Trump that he’s suggested on a number of occasions that the former president become the next speaker of the House. Hell, he’s even said that if Trump were interested, he’d be the first to nominate him for the position.
As for Gosar, well, this is the GOP member who supposedly dislikes AOC so much that at one time, he “posted an anime video of himself killing her with a sword,” as one Twitter user recently pointed out.
Naturally, at the time, AOC was none too pleased about Gosar’s post and demanded that he be suspended from his committee assignments and removed from office for “incitement of violence.”
But it was these two, Gosar and AOC, that seemed to be the most chummy after McCarthy’s demise. Who could have imagined it?
The big question, of course, is what they could possibly be talking about that both are 1) on good terms with one another and 2) smiling and nearly laughing with the other.
Given the when and where these conversations happened, many have assumed that AOC has been chosen by those like Gosar and Gaetz, both of who have not in any way hidden their disrespect for McCarthy, to make a deal over who should be the next speaker of the House. You know, an enemy of my enemy is my friend kind of thing.
Perhaps their joint disapproval of McCarthy could be drawing them together toward a bipartisan compromise. And given AOC’s seeming popularity with the far left, if she agrees to what Gaetz and Gosar are proposing, it could be that a whole bushel of lefties also joins the bandwagon.
At this point, we can only assume.
But the encounters do seem to signify something else, too.
Perhaps the hateful atmosphere between the two political sides isn’t all that bad after all.
Perhaps, civil and reasonable conversations and agreements can be made for the greater good. And just maybe, the partisan divide that seems to have engulfed this nation can be forgotten or even mended.
We can hope, right?