BY SHARON MARTIN
No matter who wins … and believe me, it matters … the anger will still be there. So will the fear. So what do we do to bring the people in this country together?
There are plenty of things we need to fix – campaign finance laws; inequality in the education and justice systems; and access to quality, affordable healthcare, for starters. This is what this old social justice liberal sees as the most pressing issues, but I’m one of the privileged. I have a job, a home, a car. I have health insurance.
Poverty and income inequality cause issues that some of us can’t even imagine to come to the forefront. The people who need advocates in government are often those so overwhelmed with problems that voting isn’t even on their radar. They get what they don’t vote for, and they’re often angry at the wrong people.
Political activists on the other side of the aisle are worried about national security. It’s a social science fact that conservatives are the gatekeepers against intruders and liberals are the gate-openers to new ideas. It has always been so, and the safety and advancement of the human race requires a balance between the two sides.
History, too, tells us that balance works to the benefit of the citizens. When Democrats and Republicans [or whatever parties come to power in the next century] work together, the people win. When CEOs make money, but not too much, and their workers make enough money to support their families, the people win. Balance.
So, how do we come together at the center? Can we start with common ground? Right now, the common ground is hard to find. But the future of this nation depends on us finding it. Perhaps it starts with respectful conversation.
Let’s talk. Let’s listen. Let’s try to understand each other’s positions. Let’s do it now, before it’s too late.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer