Shared Goals For Republicans and Democrats in 2017

Lada Adamic's famous visual of Democrat and Republican blogs during the 2004 US election

Since the election of Trump, the country has been so sharply divided between Democrat and Republican. There seems to be so much hopelessness on both sides on how we can possibly come together in the coming years. It’s time we remember common goals and stop being divided by politicians and the rich few at the top. Here are some ideas on what we should agree on in a bipartisan manner, recognizing our common humanity. Doesn’t seem possible does it? Worth a shot…

1. We all share the environment. Clean energy is required for our sake and our grandkid’s sakes. We all want a clean environment, especially as our population puts more strain on the environment and demands more natural resources to sustain that population. Recognize that politicians currently in office are not representing us, but corporate interests who want to stop clean energy out of greed. Any opposition to moving to clean energy is due to corruption and does not represent Democrats or Republicans. People working in the coal industry understandably worry about losing jobs, but if we opened up new jobs for those people working in the clean energy field instead: Win-Win. Change is harder for some people, but change is necessary to keep our environment clean, and that’s really essential to life. Look at the bigger picture and let’s work for it together. If we don’t, then we all lose, including future generations.

2. We all want a supportive community, including minorities. Racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and misogyny do not work for anybody’s supportive community. It degrades us all. We all need to say no to bullying and irrational fears and see our common humanity so that we can all build a supportive community for everybody: gay, straight, black, white, women, men, transgender people, and all races. Let’s judge people by their characters and not their skin or the way they were born. If you doubt they are born that way, then it still pays to be kind instead of supporting bullying. It will come back to you if you support bullying. Haven’t you figured that out yet? It’s not ‘survival of the fittest’ when you are being an asshole. You aren’t fit for even you to be around.

3. We can also tolerate all religions, except when they are used to persecute any person or group of people. Religion should be based in loving and helping each other. When religion becomes extremism, it is no longer acceptable and that means any religion. We should fight extremism universally and keep it out of our government no matter what religion that may be. That doesn’t mean fight to eliminate any religion. It means to fight to eliminate the extremist groups within any religion. Come toward a common goal of keeping religion as it should be: based on love and compassion – not division and malice. Religion should also work toward a common goal of creating a prosperous future, not the ‘end times.’ If a religion works for end times, then the priorities need to be changed, don’t they?

4. Health care should be about healing people – not making a profit for the pharmaceutical industry. We can all agree on that, can’t we? So if the name is changed from ‘Obamacare’ to ‘Romneycare’ or any other care, what matters is that we work to make health care affordable for all Americans. That can’t be done by replacing the ACA with something that works to favor the greed of insurance companies with their ‘pre-existing condition’ clauses. That can’t work if the cost of drugs and services is not addressed. We all know drugs prices and the cost of services are inflated unreasonably. It’s reasonable to demand that costs be lowered to within a reasonable standard that does not enforce greed and profits above healing people and saving lives. Democrat and Republican must find commonality in prioritizing healing fellow Americans with affordable care. Period. No excuses. If Republicans fail to address this, they expose just how corrupt they are. The same goes for Democrats, but know that President Obama certainly fought for all Americans, Republican or Democrat didn’t matter.

5. Income inequality is the biggest threat to our country. We are now an Oligarchy that is moving into Kleptocracy. While politicians push to divide us and distract us with other things, the fact remains that the rich grow richer by exploiting the rest of us. It’s time Republicans and Democrats work together to help save the middle-class America that we can all agree makes America truly great. Prosperity for the average person is a goal we all can work for together. But first, we have to identify that our government no longer works for that goal. We need to overturn Citizens United and take big money out of politics. We need to keep special interests from working to destroy the middle-class. We need to stop corruption on Wall Street and in Washington D.C.. It’s something we can all agree on. So let’s find some commonality and come together to save what really made America great. We can’t do that unless we work to increase taxes on the 1% to within fair parameters. We can’t do that unless we overturn Citizens United. Let’s start there, by identifying who can help us reach those goals. Doesn’t that sound perfectly reasonable to you? It should. If not, you are being partisan and not seeing the bigger picture. The rest of us will have to move along without you.

Republicans and Democrats are more divided than ever before in America. Yet we should be able to remember our common ground here. We all need equal representation from our government. A few rich people can’t maintain control over our democracy if we work together to demand our interests are the priority – not theirs. Let’s stop being divided by the politics of division because that’s what they’ve always wanted. Recognize that together, we can make the middle-class a priority again. We just have to demand it with our actions and our votes. We have to demand it from both Republicans and Democrats going forward, and we have to quit taking sides to the detriment of our common goals. Yes, it seems very unlikely that we can ever achieve such commonality at this point in history, but it’s time we work to at least remember we have more in common than it seems.

Disclaimer: This article depends on the premise that that the reader agrees we are all human. If it’s not possible to agree on that, then perhaps things really are hopeless for bipartisanship in 2017.

Featured image: Lada Adamic’s famous visual of Democrat and Republican blogs during the 2004 US election from Andy Lamb (CC BY 2.0)

About Matthew Silvan 283 Articles
Matthew Silvan is a gay man from the American South who has spent years fighting against the scapegoating and demonization imposed on the LGBT community by Republicans and religious hypocrites and zealots. His writing reflects the constant struggle to overcome the inequality and discrimination still rampant in America. He is an advocate for diversity and progress, with a passion for nature and preserving the environment, who also tends to approach things in a lighthearted way despite it all.

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