It would be easy to believe that our society agrees on nothing, that we are a nation divided. Not true.
We have simply become too successful at megaphoning our differences and whispering our deep, fundamental agreements. Consider this list of incredibly important statements, none of which have we heard a single person disagree with:
• The killing of George Floyd was wretched and appalling.
• The officers involved deserve to be punished.
• Free speech, even [or especially] when realized through protests and demonstrations, is a basic American right.
• Vandalism, burglary, breaking and entering, and destruction of private property are criminal acts.
• People do not want themselves, their family or their neighbors to contract coronavirus.
• People do not want to remain locked inside their homes indefinitely.
• A proven and readily available vaccine would change everything.
• Businesses do not want to endanger employees or customers.
• Businesses do want to employ people and serve customers through the act of doing business.
• Government money for businesses and individuals whose livelihoods were taken away due to government response to a health crisis is reasonable and appropriate.
• The government’s pot of money is not endless.
• Voting and the ability to vote safely and securely are basic American rights.
• Confidence in our electoral process is critical to the republic.
• The equal treatment of Americans under the law is integral to the success of our nation.
• A free and unbiased press is a critical component of a democracy.
• The intentional dissemination of inaccurate information is a threat to democracy.
• Social media is a powerful and growing platform that must be governed responsibly.
• Our children deserve safe and effective methods for learning.
• Our seniors deserve safe and effective facilities in which to live and receive care.
• Every American adult deserves the opportunity to be employed at the highest level of their ability.
Each of the above statements is centered on fundamental agreements within our society. People of every race, sex, color and creed can choose to begin from a place of understanding and empathy rather than division and dissent.
We can choose to be better.