My thoughts range from the pandemic (mask/no mask), to Black Lives Matter/Blue Lives Matter, conservative/liberal, Red state/Blue state, straight/gay, pro-life/pro-choice, etc., etc.

I realized that we are in the midst of a civil war that, thank God, is not armed yet! It seems to me that the basic problem connecting these divisive issues is the lack of civil discourse. I may not agree with someone's point of view but I am willing to listen, respect and digest it. I expect the same in return.

Only then are we able to understand, compromise and hopefully restore some semblance of unity.

It is past time for us to be Americans first and partisans second. I was recently heartened to see hundreds of utility trucks heading to Lake Charles. Those trucks were occupied by people of all colors and political persuasions.

They came from Red states and Blue states. They were united in helping fellow Americans of all colors, genders and political persuasions. What a powerful example they set for us all.

Those who believe one candidate or party will bring us unity are deluding themselves. It is up to us, We the People, to establish justice, ensure tranquility, provide defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our children. We start the process with respectful dialogue.

WILLIAM HINES

retired physician

Baton Rouge