· We need to stop viewing our fellow Americans who hold different political positions as enemies.
· The active competition of ideas is healthy for a democracy. It keeps political parties on their toes, dissuades extremism, and provides development of fresh, creative ideas.
· I am running for Congress because I see our elected officials unable to speak to each other in cordial terms, unable to honestly evaluate the proposals of the opposing party to see if there is a kernel of agreement, and unwilling to enter respectful dialogue and negotiations to explore mutually-acceptable solutions.
· Taunting, name calling or misrepresenting the opposition’s policies and motives is unproductive and intellectually lazy. Any decent politician should be able to defend their positions in respectful debate, using factual contrasts to show why their policies are better than their opponent’s.
· In Congress, we can start to regain basic decorum through easy, basic measures. We need to revive the bipartisan idea of intermixing seating rather than dividing the chamber floors by party, and party leaderships need to make clear to their members expectations of proper and respectful discourse on the floor and in committees. Committee chairs especially need to reign in the badgering of those testifying in front of Congress. Tough questioning is expected and necessary in a democracy, but outright rude treatment of fellow U.S. citizens or grandstanding for camera soundbites needs to be cut of quickly, regardless of party affiliation.
· Outside of Congress, we need to actively fight “cancel culture” and encourage wide-ranging debate of public policy. Congress should strongly push back against university administrations that allow or sponsor limits on political debate, such as disinviting or banning controversial speakers, or ordering campus police to stand down when protest groups try to stop such events. Department of Education funding and federal research grants should take into consideration receiving universities’ records of support for open political debate.
· Congress should review the adequacy of current laws to protect elected officials and judges from intimidation or threats of violence. “Doxing” and targeting officials with protests at their personal residences is unjustified intimidation and Congress should strengthen recourse, criminally and monetarily, against those who engage in such actions.
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