Bipartisanship is possible when we ride together

To the Editor:

I am one of Milford’s four representatives to the General Court. I made a commitment, should I be elected, to reach out to the other side of the aisle in a spirit of friendship. In this age of hyper-partisanship, I would like to share a story.

As a freshman Republican representative, I sit on the House Ways and Means Committee with my freshman Democrat colleague from Milford, the Honorable Joelle Martin.

Because we were both due in Concord at 8 this morning for a breakfast meeting with Governor Sununu, we decided to ride together. (For reference, today, Feb. 9, is the day of the major winter storm and Governor Sununu’s budget address.)

Representative Martin arrived at my house at 6:45 a.m., and I had her park in my garage so her car would not be buried in snow when we returned. The ride to and from Concord in a blizzard was tedious, but made enjoyable as we had a chance to talk, get to know one another and discuss a bit of politics on the way.

On the trip, an amazing thing happened. We each discovered that the the other was not evil, ill-intentioned or held a monopoly on the truth. We found we agreed on far more than we might have imagined.

When we returned home in the afternoon, I found I could not get into my driveway, and Representative Martin could not get to her car. We decided that I would drive her home and have her husband come back with me to pick it up. When we arrived back at my house, Mr. Martin graciously waded up to my garage, got out my snowblower and proceeded to snow blow my entire driveway! (Note: I have a spinal cord injury and was incapable of doing it myself.)

I just wanted to make this public to illustrate a point. Because we don’t agree with “the other side” does not make them evil or even wrong. Our leaders in Washington would do well to ride to work with their ideological opposites in the middle of the next nor’easter!

Charlie Burns