I’ve come to believe that most Americans actually have a good deal of agreement on a number of core issues. Where we differ it is the details and often those details are being magnified and exaggerated by these parties that benefit from pitting us against each other. Essentially we have been riled up to care deeply about nuances that we didn’t really care about previously. Consider how one party is championing a cause (health care, immigration, etc) until the other party takes the mantle and then it’s suddenly opposed. Clearly, it’s bad business to agree with your enemy in American politics. And seeing the other side as the “enemy” is much of the problem. We, the citizens, are often the pawns in this zero sum game. In time it will do serious damage to our democracy, if it hasn’t already.
So I thought it might be good to take a step back and look at 10 things we can all agree on. Sure, once you get a level or two down the path with any of these items you have serious disagreement. Take #5 “fewer unwanted pregnancies”. Some would say that we need to make birth control and abortion more widely available, others would argue that we need to teach abstinence. Many others would take nuanced positions across the spectrum of options. But if we could pull back to what we agreed on, returning to common ground, I believe we could debate each other in good faith, not painting each other as the devil when our views differ.
So I humbly, and perhaps foolishly, offer these 10 principles we can (hopefully) all agree on:
All are created equal
The economy should create more opportunities for more people
Country over party, be willing to compromise for the greater good
Commonsense gun laws make sense and don’t negate the 2nd amendment
There should be fewer unwanted pregnancies
The earth is worth protecting
The government should have a limited role in our lives
War should truly be a last resort
A free press is vital to our democracy
Health care should be more effective, available and affordable