When you’re dug-in on either side of a battlefield, neither side gains much ground.
You sacrifice mobility in the name of protection because digging in offers the best chance for survival. The fighting is relentless, and the conditions inside the trenches are as dangerous as the fighting outside.
The neutral middle ground, No Man’s Land, remains unoccupied. It’s a shell-shocked terrain full of holes, barbed wire, and landmines, that neither party dares to enter.
But in the initial months of World War I, No Man’s Land was the site of the Christmas Truce of 1914: an unofficial cease-fire that brought warring soldiers out of their opposing trenches, unarmed, to wish each other a Merry Christmas.
It demanded a level of trust among the enemy soldiers that is hard to fathom today.
Many historians refer to it as the last example of chivalry in warfare, perhaps because commanders on the ground threatened disciplinary action against any who engaged in similar attempts in the future.
But for a few hours one Christmas, mortal enemies found common ground. They set aside the ideas and the causes they were fighting for and they embraced their mutual humanity.
It’s an idea whose time has come in America. Political trench warfare has the extreme players within our system dug in to their respective trenches, having abandoned the middle ground. They’ve chosen self-preservation over progress and they’ve become a plague to our democracy.
We’re calling for a meeting in No Man’s Land.
We’re challenging the people on both sides to muster a radical amount of trust and meet us on this unoccupied ground. It’s the first step in an end to the partisan war that continues to divide the people of this nation.
We’re choosing people over parties, and we’re extending the invitation to everyone: those inside the trenches, those outside the trenches, and those who dug the trenches.
Everyone loses if we continue this undeclared civil war, and our country has the scars to prove it.