Living in Society Social Commentary

Letter to the Solon Economist

Writing About Apples
Writing About Apples

A Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll published last week contrasted how Democrats and Republicans weigh subjects in their approach to selecting a candidate running for the 2016 nomination for president in their respective parties.

Republican likely caucus goers surveyed were most interested in the budget deficit, national defense and taxes; Democratic likely caucus goers surveyed were most interested in energy, income inequality and the nation’s infrastructure.

One of the few places the two results were close was on job creation, favored by both Republicans and Democrats 86-14. The partisans have different approaches on how best to create jobs.

This framing of Republican versus Democratic by news organizations does us a disservice. It perpetuates the lie that people are divided.

For those of us who talk a lot to people from diverse backgrounds, we can see it is simply not the case. More people want to join together and work toward a common goal than get involved with political discussions.

That is especially true in our small community where we can join a non-profit, serve on committees, volunteer at the fire department, at church, or at the library, or if we are simply celebrating a special event like our sesquicentennial, or hanging out Wednesday night for music in the bandstand. Political party preference just doesn’t matter that much.

There is data to back this up.

According to the May report of the Iowa Secretary of State, the number of no party preference active voters in Iowa House District 73 exceeds either of the main parties by a distance (with 1,492 more no party registrants than Democrats and 1,817 more no party registrants than Republicans).

My point is this: we have more in common with each other than we disagree. What matters more than partisan debate is working toward common goals.

Large news organizations may not get this, but if we look around at the familiar faces near us, we should.