VIDEO: The Larger Lesson of the Al Smith Dinner

Scott Swenson

The Al Smith dinner reminds us why we are better as Americans when we come together, regardless of our differences on issues, to celebrate civility, pluralism, and democracy.

The 63rd Annual Al Smith Dinner was a breath of civility in a campaign that has often lacked it. Held in honor of the first Catholic candidate for president, it is a fundraiser for the good works of Catholic Charities. Four years ago, however, Sen. John Kerry and President George W. Bush did not speak at the dinner because Sen. Kerry, who is Catholic, and his church were at odds over his pro-choice political views.

Last night in New York, Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama demonstrated that it is possible for people from across the political spectrum, to join together, put differences aside, and demonstrate civility and humor.  It’s worth the time to view, and perhaps ponder why we as Americans don’t do this more often, gather together, as opposed to using issues, no matter how divisive, to push us apart.  


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