Commit to seeking common ground

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Letter to the editor
Akron Beacon Journal, December 4, 2016
http://www.ohio.com/editorial/vop/letters-to-the-editor-commit-to-seeking-common-ground-and-don-t-protest-take-action-dec-4-1.731307

With the nation seemingly more divided that ever following the election, people of good will on all sides can make several commitments to seek common ground.

• Make a distinction between criticizing the ideas or actions of a person and criticizing the person himself or herself. Asserting, for example, that someone’s ideas are ignorant is different than asserting that the person is inherently ignorant.

• Treat everyone will dignity and respect, regardless of gender, race, religion, income, sexual orientation, geographic home and political beliefs.

• There are several issues that arose during the election that should be explored by all sides for solutions, beginning at the community level.

“Draining the swamp” of lobbyists and reducing the corrupting influence of big money in elections is one. Increasing jobs lost due to corporate-friendly trade deals and automation is another. Preventing foreign wars that risk U.S. lives is a third. Support for an accessible and affordable health care system that avoids government and corporate intrusion is one more.

This list is a start. The vast majority of individuals in our country have more in common than differences. Let’s make sure our nation’s political and economic power elites don’t divide and conquer us.

Greg Coleridge
Director, Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee
Cuyahoga Falls

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