Messages of division are everywhere – on the news, on social media and pretty much everywhere we look, we are told that America is divided beyond repair and we must take a stand against each other.
But most Americans believe it’s more important to stand together. 88% of Americans believe that forces in politics and the media are trying to pit us against each other and it needs to stop.
That’s easier said than done when it’s almost as if people want to keep us divided (spoiler alert: they do). The fact is, keeping us fighting against each other makes money. There’s a whole industry built around telling us that we are right, that “they” are wrong – and that we can’t be reconciled. Well that’s just not true.
Americans have a whole lot more in common with each other than we have been led to believe.
Of course, there are certain issues and topics on which we disagree with each other. Differences of opinion exist between even the closest of friends. But that’s ok – relationships are bigger than that. It’s not that hard to reconcile with each other if we stop putting divisive issues at the forefront and start building relationships from foundations of commonality. Most of us care about the same things – like our families, communities and our country – and share similar goals – like equal opportunity, dignity, justice, prosperity and freedom. That’s a great place to start.
The messages we’re always hearing limit our ability to belong because they divide us into small identity groups based on things that should not define us. It doesn’t give us space to be seen and respected fully as unique and nuanced individuals. Despite the polarization and negativity, there is a common bond among voters in that the vast majority of them think America is a great country. The belief is broad and deep and provides the foundation for all of us to build connections with shared American values.
We all want to belong. And, in America, we all do. By shifting our focus to the rich variety of things we have in common, we can protect our country and preserve American opportunity for generations to come. So, let’s start to focus on the great deal of things we have in common rather than the few things which seek to divide us. If we start from there, we can build something really special.
Are you in?