Letter: Remember this election cycle — we are all Americans (opinion)
I attended a recent forum of City Council candidates. As I listened to the candidates, I realized, this is America the beautiful.
Each candidate spoke with integrity, well-founded opinions, intelligence, and (above all else) commitment to our city. Their views were all over the map, each represented different groups across town, defended their positions, advertised their experience. But most importantly they were there, giving themselves, in discussion and listening, for our community.
Let’s hold onto this America: E Pluribus Unum — Of Many, One.
We are at one of those times when the issues on the table this election tempt us to believe otherwise: immigration, MeToo, climate change, health care, foreign trade, domestic policy … Measure T. Each issue riles us all up, splits us up. We grab a side and hold on. The yard sign gardens around town and the news in the outlets go to show.
The issues feel so divisive, we all feel threatened. In our fears, we can battle on Facebook, in parking lots, in the news outlets, around kitchen tables, at work, at play, in our heads. We can carry bitterness and anger around to every part of our lives. We can let resentments from past wrongs or regrets for past decisions haunt us. We are human after all.
But the City Council candidates made me remember: We are also America, and that fact is nothing to fear.
The third side of every single argument in this election is E Pluribus Unum. Whether I agree with you or not, all these views must come up so that we can figure solutions together.
And the only thing that will keep us from finding solutions will be if we let the fear and bitterness drive us apart — break our trust in each other. If we forget America.
We will have a vote on Measure T. All the arguments that are coming up now in the debate are the seeds of future solutions. Each divisive issue is airing important viewpoints, opinions and emotions that we need to acknowledge if we are going to take our community into the future. If we can remember the idea of America, and have a little faith, the solutions will come.
I may hate your position on Measure T, you might hate mine, but you are my neighbor. For that alone, I’m glad we are in the middle of public debate together. And I applaud every candidate in this City Council race for running and working hard. Every single one.
I have my picks, you have yours. But, more important to me in this election season is our South Shore community, and our nation itself. Let’s hold on to America while we battle out the issues.
South Lake Tahoe, California