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GUEST COLUMN: We in America can fix our broken politics

Americans are fed up with politics. That’s the obvious conclusion of a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, which found many of us have “unrelentingly negative” views of politics. It's no secret that our political system is broken. We've seen gridlock in Congress, rampant partisanship, and a lack of progress on important issues. But we don't have to accept this as the status quo. We have the power to fix our broken politics and create a better future for our country. One way to start fixing our politics is to prioritize policies over politics. Too often, politicians are more focused on winning elections and satisfying their base than actually solving problems. We need leaders who are willing to put aside partisan differences and work together to find common-sense solutions that benefit all Americans. Another key issue we need to address is the influence of money in politics. It's no secret that big money has a significant impact on our elections and policy decisions. This creates a system where the wealthy and special interests have an outsized influence, while the average American is left behind. We need to implement campaign finance reform and limit the influence of money in our political system to ensure that every citizen's voice is heard. Additionally, we must prioritize civility and respectful discourse in our political debates. The current climate of name-calling, personal attacks, and divisive rhetoric only further widens the partisan divide. We need to hold our politicians accountable for their words and actions, and demand a higher standard of conduct in our political discourse. This means encouraging respectful dialogue, finding common ground, and working towards compromise. Furthermore, we must address the issue of gerrymandering. This practice, where politicians redraw district lines to favor their party, has led to skewed representation and a lack of competition in many elections. We need to implement independent redistricting commissions to ensure fair and impartial districts that accurately represent the people. In addition to these structural changes, we also need to prioritize civic education and engagement. A well-informed and engaged citizenry is essential to a healthy democracy. We need to invest in civics education in our schools, teach young people about our democratic processes and their rights and responsibilities as citizens. We should also make it easier for all Americans to participate in the political process by addressing barriers to voting and increasing access to the ballot box. Lastly, we need to hold our politicians accountable. In a democracy, the power ultimately lies with the people. We need to actively participate in the political process by voting, staying informed, and holding our elected officials accountable for their actions. This means attending town hall meetings, writing letters, making phone calls, and supporting candidates who align with our values and priorities. Fixing our broken politics will not be easy or quick, but it is necessary. We must reclaim our democracy and ensure that it works for all Americans, not just the privileged few. By prioritizing policies over politics, addressing the influence of money in politics, promoting civility and respectful discourse, combating gerrymandering, prioritizing civic education and engagement, and holding our politicians accountable, we can create a brighter future for our country. It's time for us to come together and demand better from our political system. We have the power to fix our broken politics and build a future that we can all be proud of. Let's seize this opportunity and work towards a more inclusive, responsive, and effective political system. The stakes have never been higher, and the time for action is now.

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