None of us have any right to be appalled by our choices for president. They reflect the same narrow-minded, all or nothing choices we make as individuals everyday. We, the people, have made all of this possible. Our lives are a result of the choices we’ve made; and only we, the people, can fix it. There is no single person – man or woman, party – liberal or conservative, who can right all our wrongs and cure what ails us. Only we, the people can do it. We’re the ones that need to be held accountable. We’re the ones that need to work this out. Together.

It’s not possible to have a nation of solid moral character, that’s productive, that’s fiscally sound, that’s healthy, that leads the world in innovation, civil rights, compassion, empathy, charity, hope, opportunity, liberty, fairness, inclusiveness – if that nation isn’t made up of individuals who embody those values. And NO ONE PARTY contributes 100% in all of these areas.

Over the last several months, we’ve all watched our friends on Facebook forward vitriolic, all-or-nothing attacks on the candidate they hate. Few take the time to vet their quasi news stories. They just forward the trash they find online trolling for hate masking as news and feel they’ve done their part to fix our nation.

Newsflash: We are all part of the problem. Our “all or nothing” thinking is driving a wedge between us. Our “win at all costs” attitude (provided of course, that cost doesn’t require us to actually understand the candidates real positions, the issues, the consequences, the real facts, the long-term effects) is the problem, along with our unwillingness to make any personal sacrifice of time, money, or ideology to get the facts right.)

This election is not a choice between the best our nation has to offer. We’ve dismissed those candidates from the conversation. It’s between conflicting “values” – not “principles” and no one party, race, creed or individual has got it right.

Resist the urge to use this post to leverage your position and make the case for or against any candidate. Instead, see if for what it is. A chance to actually sit and reflect for a moment on the example and contribution your own life gives to our nation. Then -if you feel so motivated – share with your “Friends” the opportunity to reset our national conversation.

Take a deep breath. Really. And then ask yourself “What can I do to really understand what’s going on? How can I positively change the narrative, reset the conversation, bridge the divide? How can I listen with the intent to understand – not just respond, and work with my neighbors with different views?” What is really worth sharing that can help heal our nation?

The real problem: We’re lazy, angry and all that seems to unify us anymore is a common enemy. Collaboration has been replaced by domination. Civil discourse by civil disobedience. We’ve become so selective in our outrage we don’t even see the hypocrisy in our own words and acts.

To be sure, we’ve been baited into this ideological war by special interests on both sides. Our news media, civil leaders, entertainers, community organizers, religious leaders, corporate titans have all played a part in shaping this conversation – either through their willful ignorance of the facts, their own agendas, or willful manipulation of any circumstance that suits their cause. Shame on us for not knowing better.

What’s missing from 50 years ago is a national filter – a vetting of the hyperbole, a civic moderator (think Cronkite, Brocaw, Brinkley) to objectively share the facts from both sides.

Today, that needs to be OUR job. We need better education for our youth, media sources that help us sort through the bias and point out the manipulation, equal justice for everyone – and a BIAS – that is compassionate, empathetic and gives each other a chance to be heard and work on solving our problems, not just debating their cause. It’s time we, the people, became accountable, or this more perfect union will soon be gone.

Let ego, ignorance, apathy, manipulation, pride, sloth and injustice be the common enemy; and truth, hope, joy and compassion become what unifies all of us, Red or Blue, Gay or Straight, Male or Female, White, Brown or Black, we the people are all that can fix this. #IDecide

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