The president was a Democrat, the Congress was mostly Republican, but both sides were willing to mediate and collaborate.
What did it produce? Twenty-two million new jobs, a balanced budget, more millionaires than ever, an upwardly mobile middle-class, fewer poor people, a projected budget surplus of five trillion dollars…and peace.
So, mediation and collaboration work.
But sometimes we forget how to do it, and that's what is hurting the country now.
I think we lawyers can help.
We can be motivators reminding ourselves and pushing the politicians to mediate and collaborate.
If we do it well and consistently in our legal practices, and mediation and other collaborative devices become prevalent enough in the world of law, which is the world you and I live in, then the use of these devices may flow beyond the confines of the court and the law firm and reach even the Halls of Congress and the Capitol, where we seem to be having so much trouble reconciling our conflicting interests.
After all, what is our mission as lawyers?
Certainly it allows us to provide for ourselves and our families the sustenance to survive and prosper in our society: that's a proper aspiration.
And certainly we have a duty to help our clients every way we can; that's our basic charge as lawyers.