At a divisive moment in our nation’s history, experts suggest that less-divisive politics start with finding common ground among those whose opinions differ from your’s. You can apply this principle in a number of ways:
• Get involved.
Attend city council meetings and town hall meetings. Join the PTA. But don’t just show up -- make your voice heard. Make friends on all sides of the issue. Be a coalition builder. Discover where your beliefs overlap with others before debating about the issues on which you disagree.
• Get in touch.
From petitions to postcards to calls and texts, there are numerous ways to get in touch with your elected officials at every level of government. Encourage your representatives to work constructively with their colleagues in an effort to de-polarize politics and ultimately be more effective at their jobs.
• Speak out.
Organize or attend a rally. Raise money for a political cause that matters to you. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Take advantage of the channels available to you.
The best remedy of all, on both the national and local levels, is to support candidates who are problem solvers and consensus builders, not partisan warriors. Look for the candidates who put the country, or the community, first -- above party allegiance or personal aggrandizement. Everyone, including average citizens, can be a champion for a climate of healthier politics, whether it’s around the dinner table, on a social media thread or at a city council meeting.