As the debate about gun violence prevention begins to slowly diminish until the next horrific slaughter of students and teachers in America, soon the news will return to President Biden's "shrinking" popularity. The news will reflect polls about whether the United States is on "the right track". Do U.S. voters believe the economy is strong? Do voters believe the future is bright?
There is a massive fundamental flaw in gathering "the pulse" of the voter. When we talk about "the right track" or "the future", they are not measured on the basis of what that future should be.
Is it "brighter" when fewer parents are grieving for their murdered children? Is it "brighter" when the Supreme Court eviscerates the ability of the Federal government to enforce basic protections for air and water quality? Is it "brighter" when the content of textbooks has been heavily censored so children do not learn from the egregious mistakes we've made as a nation?
This is important because the media will continue to produce stories to show how completely polarized and divided we are as a nation. Yet are we? The vast majority of Americans want similar things. This does not make interesting news, nor does it serve the purpose of fueling the conflict and divide.
As a narrow example, a majority of people are for legislation and policy that :
- Provides the next generation with a livable nation and world.
- Codifies reasonable gun violence prevention and responsible gun ownership.
- Ensures the wealthiest pay their fair share of taxes.
- Ensures that all who can cast a vote are able to do so without being harassed.
- Prevents the government from participating in personal decisions about reproduction.
- Keeps our lakes, rivers, and oceans free of toxic chemicals and pollution.
- Safely provides a world-class education for all students so they are well-prepared to thrive in a dynamic and challenging world.
- Protects the air we breathe and the water we drink.
- Encourages affordable housing for all.
- Prepares us for the next pandemic.
- Yields a healthcare system that produces the best patient outcomes at the lowest possible cost including mental health.
- Protects our rights to unionize and collectively bargain.
- Catalyzes a reasonable approach to climate action.
- Drives investment in U.S. infrastructure to address crumbling bridges and highways.
- Provides a path to citizenship and reasonable immigration reform and controls.
- Yields fair economic opportunities for all.
If we are to exist as a nation into the future, we must define what we want the future to be. Fundamentally we all want a future that will provide a higher-quality existence for our children, grandchildren, and generations yet to come.
Regardless of political party, voters must form a massive, solid coalition that aspires toward a core set of values, and then only elects leaders to Congress, State, and Local governments who will author, sponsor, and pass legislation and policies that will further our core values.
This current group of "leaders" will not even consider a Congressional vote on assault weapons, voting rights, Women's Rights, or ending taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil. As Senator Cory Booker once powerfully articulated "Indivisible, we are invincible." However, if we continue to allow our society to be divided, we know from history that it does not end well. (At least for those that have been "allowed" to study actual history).