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September 18, 2020

9/15/2020 9:36:00 AM
The division needs to stop

Dear Editor,
As civil discourse increasingly occurs in a world of on-line forums and social media platforms, it is easy to forget that the opposing side of an argument is not your enemy, but your fellow citizen. Discourse is what strengthens our democracy. When arguments become polarized to the point of no return our democracy fails. People will always disagree and that is a good thing. Having your assumptions challenged and being willing to question your own beliefs is paramount to the creation of a more just and whole society. To believe that a certain paradigm is the only justifiable course of direction will only continue to lead our country in a direction of chaos.
We must embrace our differences because progress is made through compromise. Mutual respect, empathy, and willingness to self -reflect are the building blocks of a virtuous democracy. A society that ensures equality to all regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, and income serves us all. It is our job as citizens to demand a better world for our children and work toward a more perfect union. It is alarming to see how divided our country has become and regardless of your social lens, it is increasingly important to be willing to have dialogues that ultimately lead to the realization that we have an amazing country. Surely it has flaws, but perfection is a process and not an outcome.
We as an electorate need to call on our leaders to work together because bickering and political posturing does not serve any of us. We have massive challenges ahead. The solutions to these challenges drift into an abyss the further we find ourselves from middle ground. Goodwill is not a lost cause and cooperation is imperfect but our inability to accept either will only accelerate the downward spiral we find ourselves in now.
President Trump and his rhetoric are pushing us further away from stability and common ground. A better future awaits us if we reject his divisive brand of leadership and push both parties to work for us by finding common ground. These turbulent times are truly an opportunity to come together as a nation and begin working together because neither political party holds the panacea because the most sustainable solution is cooperation.
Democracy requires us as a citizenry to engage and educate ourselves. Reject corporate media sources and support our local papers and public broadcasting. If you don't like what you see there are lots of ways to get involved in your local community. If you feel strongly about the state of politics, volunteer for the political candidate of your choice and don't rip out yard signs or demonize your contraries. Embrace freedom of speech and peaceful protest and don't riot and destroy our communities. Decency is not political. Be a nice person. It is okay to disagree but it is not okay to incite division.

Scott Mericka

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