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Open Letter to Republicans and Democrats

Dear Republicans and Democrats,

To be honest, I don’t want to vote for either of your candidates this year. Both of you have some serious internal work to do. And, for country’s sake, get along with each other. You’re like a divorcing couple fighting over who gets the majestic house, not caring about who else lives in it. If either one of you is completely in charge, it's not the best situation for many people. You need to learn to get along. I’ve got separate messages for each of you, and then a closing letter for both, each message with a list of suggested reforms.

To the Democratic Party:

Like you, I believe that our country should be a place of opportunity and fairness for all. But, while you rightly believe that America is a culturally pluralist country, your ideals and tone can hinder and have hindered community flourishing. You long for a utopian future that never will be.

You need to discard smugness, anti-religious bigotry and chronological snobbery. Learn from the successes and costly mistakes of the past (e.g. just because humans didn’t have electricity two thousand years ago doesn’t mean they can’t create applicable principles). Embrace the complexities and nuances of the governance of our cultural and pluralistic nation, and do what’s right, especially if it costs you.

To the Republican Party:

Like you, I believe in moral absolutes and learning from the past. But, while you rightly believe that ethics in policies will help America toward community flourishing, it seems that you are either unable or unwilling to acknowledge the socio-economic changes happening in our country. You long for a utopian past that never was.

You need to discard complacency and embrace the painful truths about our nation’s past. Purge yourself from any unethical tendencies (e.g. misogyny, white supremacy) and appoint leaders of integrity. Make no more moral compromises in your actions. While I believe in the virtue of a few of your ideals, the ends don’t justify your means.

To both parties:

-Discard greed

-Think of the well-being of the residents of your represented land, more than your supporters

-Speak the truth in love

-Forgive each other for ways you have been wronged

-No more tribalism

-Hold your leaders and followers accountable, even if it means a loss of votes

-No more delegitimization

-No more harsh words

-Find a way to work together, as we all need it

But now comes my pessimism. I feel like people who are more knowledgeable about politics than me have asked this of you previously. Instead, division and tribalism continue to grow in alarming ways. The words spoken, violence committed, and fear-mongering is disturbing. I'll probably get responses to this very letter, justifying one party and condemning the other, maybe even personally attacking me. This is much easier of a response than listening and acknowledging.

But is it possible you could work on this list, even by 2024?


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