Come Together... Follow Up
I wrote a post titled "Come Together" some days ago and got a lot of good feedback, but I also got some negative feedback. Someone had commented (paraphrasing) that it seemed disingenuous to talk about coming together when the previous blog post was about a reproductive rights rally as that is a topic of deep division.
I won't say this person was wrong. I can understand the thought process and I can actually agree to some extent. But I wanted to respond to clear things up a bit.
When I say that we have more in common than we don't, I'm not speaking of the most controversial issues. Those are the issues that, while important, we are most divided on, the issues that no matter what argument one makes in favor or against, minds and hearts will not be changed. Many times, these are the most personal and emotional issues and often circumstances have to affect a person for them to see the other side of the issue. A lot of this can be attributed to human nature. We hold very strong opinions and those opinions cannot be swayed without the occurrence of a life-changing event.
The point of my post wasn't to ignore those issues, as we truly can't, and personally, as someone running for office, all of those issues must be important to me because they will be important to at least some of my constituents.
As a Nation divided, Pennsylvania and even District 6 are microcosms of our greater Nation. Insults are hurled on social media over disagreements in policy and social issues. Family and friend relationships have been lost. People feel uncomfortable at work or even in their neighborhoods if they feel they are in the political minority. Again, I'm not saying that these divisive issues aren't important. Many of them are life or death issues.
The point of my post was to highlight the fact that we are more alike than many believe at this point. We all want to live in a safe community, to earn enough money to be comfortable, to see our children grow up to be contributing members of society, to know that our loved ones who need extra help are cared for and prioritized, and to just enjoy life. Of course, there are many different ways to accomplish these things, but we can't let our differences divide us. We do need to work together to reach our common goals.
When I was knocking on doors yesterday, talking to voters, one of the voters I spoke to talked to me about "gray areas." She said she's in the gray areas as far as her opinions go on some of the more controversial issues. I appreciated her telling me that, and I can say with certainty that there are much more of us than we think. Those on the fringes are loudest. Those that believe there is only one solution to a problem and that it is THEIR solution are making their voices heard. We should do the same. We, who believe in compromise, can be heard too.