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September 9, 2018

The only thing we have to fear … is fear itself. - FDR

There’s a scene in Rocky III (not my favorite Rocky movie, more at the end.) where Rocky’s wife Adrian confronts him after he has lost his edge, his work ethic … the “eye of the tiger.” I think we’ve all been there, to some extent.

After Rocky attempts to run from the confrontation, explaining he doesn’t believe in himself anymore and doesn’t want to lose everything, Adrian says, “That’s not it!! Why don’t you tell me the truth!! … What’s the truth, dammit?”

“I’M A...

June 23, 2018

Seven months ago, I published Ending Our Uncivil War, entering an unknown land.

I felt vulnerable and a bit unsure of what I would hear, as well as hopeful, even optimistic. How would my book impact “the conversation?” My relationship with close friends? My job? Me?

So far, so good! I’ve made many new friends and deepened relationships with people I respected, and more importantly quite a few people I didn’t know well, or yes, even trust or like much. I’ve been part of conversations on important stages, like The Tenne...

April 5, 2018

Today, the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s death, a friend, Ashley Elizabeth, reflected on Facebook, “Would we have championed Dr. King [back then]? We can post quotes and pictures and memes all day long because we know how the story ended. We can place ourselves on the right side of it all, confident of our beauty and grace. …”

“We can confidently still, of course, declare with a resounding yes that we would have boldly stood against our pastors and parents and teachers and friends and stood shoulder to...

February 17, 2018

Excerpt: "I understand this personally. Ten years ago, I had few close friends who were very liberal, minorities, poor or gay. It was easier to stay in my space, remain comfortable and sometimes judge, knowingly or unknowingly. It was challenging to listen deeply, without being offended or uncomfortable, much of this rooted in my childhood experiences. I was isolated, even lonely, but unaware of its extent. This was my own uncivil war, of sorts. Maybe you’ve been there, too, or are there today, to some extent a...

December 29, 2017

A few weeks ago, my friend Billy graciously invited me to his association’s holiday party.

I had a conflict, but said, “What about lunch the next week?” He said, “Absolutely, and I’ll bring AJ.”

Billy and AJ are leaders of the Tennessee AFL-CIO. I’m state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. Very often, our associations take opposing views on legislation. Anyone who knows that might have done a double take if they saw us seated, eating BBQ and hot chicken, having some laughs before the holidays...

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