OUR OPINION: We applaud Sen. Alexander’s efforts to lead

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We were glad that Roane County’s Tea Party was not formally listed among other Tea Party groups who declared their intentions this summer to oust U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee from office in next year’s Republican primary.

In these divided, divisive times, Alexander — a Republican — has shown leadership and courage by attempting to reaching across party lines and actually serve the people. Apparently, that’s where many Tea Partyers draw the line.

An open letter to Alexander signed by about 20 Tennessee Tea Party organizations said this: “Unfortunately, our great nation can no longer afford compromise and bipartisanship, two traits for which you have become famous.”

While no one will be satisfied with every action he has taken, we believe Alexander is on the right track.

We, the American people — as well as its elected representatives — must re-learn how to talk to each other and treat each other with dignity and respect.

Just as importantly, we must learn to listen to our opponents and forge bonds of trust so that we can try to find common ground.
Alexander has shown more willingness to do this than many in Washington, and for this reason, we applaud him.

The good news is, polls have shown there is little real threat to Alexander, despite these groups’ concentrated efforts.