What is the best way for Americans to heal the political divide we are currently experiencing? After someone asked this of a popular online forum, here are THEIR top suggestions. Do you agree?
I agree with the first commenter who writes, “Education. It’s the only solution to release us from dependence on media headlines and low-information talking points. An educated public is a powerful public capable of holding leaders accountable and calling out lies.”
I can’t help but be reminded of what George Carlin says, “But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education sucks, and it’s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never going to get any better.
Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the real owners now, the real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the critical decisions.
Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything.
They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets, and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear.”
2. Campaign Finance Reform
“Campaign finance reform — you gotta take corporate money out of elections.” “This is the big one — and the one the media will never talk about because they rake in billions of dollars in campaign ads. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle.
It helps that a good chunk of Americans have swallowed — hook, line, and sinker — the conservative myth that regulations on campaign finance are socialist. And politicians will never pass a law on it because they rake in billions of dollars in donations.”
3. Give Relief to the Workers
“Give some relief to the average worker. Wages haven’t kept up with inflation. People can barely afford their groceries. Rent and housing prices have skyrocketed. I really think a lot of the fighting stems from how unhappy, in general, everyone is.”
4. Stop Treating Politics Like Sports Fandoms
“Sports fandom politics is the inevitable outcome of our voting system. First-past-the-post voting always coalesces down to exactly two parties because voters rightly fear the spoiler effect in choosing a third party. In a two-party, winner-take-all system, losing by one vote is a catastrophe, so of course, people treat it that way.”
“George Washington was against political parties for this reason. This is the exact reason. He even mentions this in his Farewell Address.
Psychologically, people tend to forgive people on ‘their team’ and be overly critical of the ‘other team.’ Politics is no different, but it should be.”
5. Turn off the TV and Get Off Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Reddit — are all the same — big distractions and the easiest ways to keep us fighting among ourselves. If you heed the advice of one who says, “Turn off the TV and get off Facebook.” You will quickly begin to feel better.
6. Higher Standards for “News” Channels
“News channels need to be held to a higher standard. No more sensationalism, non-factual commentary, and selective ommitment.” That’s great in theory. But as one points out, “Who gets to be the arbiter of truth though?”
7. Stop Using Political Alignment as a Personality Trait
“Stop using political alignment as a personality trait. Some people warp their whole identity around their politics. Find more meaning in your life than just activism. Our communities used to share a lot of spiritual connections and actually knew their neighbors’ names and got out of the house.”
8. Stop Attributing Malicious Intent
“Stop attributing malicious intent behind the opposing party’s actions. Not everything is evil, and not everyone who disagrees with you is evil. You can often chalk it up to incompetence, stupidity, or both…but that doesn’t mean they’re evil. This involves judging people individually as people and not just determining they’re evil or bad because they are part of the other political party.”
9. Accountability for Objective Lies
“Accountability for objective lies. Especially to constituents. It should be similar to the process of suing for false advertisement, except with criminal over financial penalties. No more lies.”
10. Term Limits
“Term Limits for Congress. Limit them to a total of 12 years. This can be two terms as a Senator, six terms as a Representative, or any combination as long as the total time served is no more than 12 years — reconfirmation of Supreme Court Justices every ten years. Every ten years, the Senate should reconfirm a Supreme Court Justice. If they are unable to receive 51 votes, the House of Representatives would then hold a vote to decide if that Justice is removed from the Supreme Court.”
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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.