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VOICES: Americans need to come together for greater good

We currently live in a country where one of the two major political parties actively obstructs and denies the rights and public services of its citizens, and:

• Ignores precedent, tradition and the principles of democracy;

• Thrives in hypocrisy and subverting rules of common decency to gain and maintain political power at all costs;

• Whose state and national platforms deny a legitimate democratic election, openly supports lies and conspiracy theories and elects representatives that incite and dismiss violence;

• Actively votes against or even denies debate on legislation that would benefit all citizens;

• Puts the 2nd Amendment and rights to firearms above a child’s right to safety;

• Denies basic health care, marginalizes and specifically targets minorities, attacks public education and actively emboldens ideologies of white supremacists and domestic terrorists.

Never before has a Supreme Court ruled to take away a precedented constitutional right.

This has been years in the making by this political party’s duplicitous actions. They’ve held judicial appointments hostage and vacant while controlling the Senate.

They actively subverted and refused to carry out their constitutional duty to even discuss a presidential appointment to the Supreme Court, leaving a seat vacant for eight months before the 2016 election.

They refused to follow their own logic, reasoning and precedent for this action to rush a presidential appointment with only 38 days before the 2020 election.

Through sheer political expediency they drastically altered the makeup of the Supreme Court with the intent to push conservative doctrine that the majority of this country disagrees with.

The explicit attack on individuals rights to their own health decisions and bodies is only the start.

Justice Thomas has already stated the desire to reconsider the court’s precedent on contraceptive, same-sex relations and same-sex marriage rights.

I know that this does not represent all members of this party and there are many who disagree with and lament the repugnant devolution of a party that once embraced civil discourse, decency and democratic ideals. But as Ginetta Saga eloquently put it, “Silence in the face of injustice is complicity with the oppressor.”

Inaction is one of the loudest forms of approval. If you disagree with the current state of this political party, change it. Get politically engaged, talk to your neighbors and community, vote and speak out against injustice. Demand accountability, renounce bigotry and hatred and model the civility that is currently lacking. Do not let frustration and pessimism win. That’s what this party relies on.

This also goes for the other party that has not been consistent or unified behind a specific message or solutions to solve the serious issues facing the country, and is a party that more often than not stands on the right side of history but continuously struggles to utilize the logic and rationality of their position to bring together a diverse coalition of all Americans.

Too many times the extreme fringes of both steer the direction of their political party, and the majority of the country in the middle ends up whiplashed.

All Americans should come together with earnest intent to listen and learn from each other and develop viable solutions that don’t explicitly cause harm or deny rights of others.

I believe most Americans have good intentions and want this: Rebuild our communities through civil discourse, reaching out to help one another, being open minded to other ideas and beliefs and respecting each other even when you don’t agree.

Always remember: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead.


Benjamin Kershner is a Hanapepe resident.
Source: The Garden Island

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