Sunday was a long day. After spending the weekend working with LEAD, an church leadership and growth organization in Houston, Texas, I spent nearly 24 hours just trying to get home.
I was supposed to get to Omaha at about 5 p.m. and ended up getting in at 12:30 a.m., because of storms that decided to park over the Dallas airport for three hours.
After six hours waiting in the Houston Airport, followed by six hours in Dallas, our plane started to board.
Boarding took forever, thanks to Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, who happened to be on the flight. (What a senator from Kentucky was doing flying from Texas to Nebraska is beyond me.) I started texting my friend, Timothy, which led to the following exchange:Me: Mitch McConnell is on my flight.
Timothy: What? The senator from Kentucky?
Timothy: Why is he going to to Nebraska?
Me: You got me.
Timothy: You should think of a good question to ask him.
Me: Like what?
Timothy: What is bringing you to Nebraska, senator?
I didn’t get the chance to chat with Senator McConnell (He was in first class and I was in steerage. I contemplated a Bridesmaids-themed attempt to sneak into first class or throwing spitballs to get his attention, but decided getting home was more important than getting arrested.)
Timothy and I continued to our text message conversation, joking about things that I could ask Senator McConnell. Ideas included the immigration status of thousands of undocumented children on the Texas border, what book he was reading and what he would do if his wife left a giant metal chicken on his front porch like the Bloggess did (Warning: adult language.)
I’m not sure I would have known what to ask a senator who doesn’t represent me and with whom I have deep political and ideological differences, which leads me to the question: How do we start conversations with people we disagree with on such deep, fundamental issues?