As we head into the final stretch of this general election season, it is obvious that there is something very broken about political discourse in America. It is so broken that, as opposing candidates for Congress, we are taking the extraordinary step to jointly recommit to civility in our own campaigns and to ask Utahns to recommit to kindness and compassion towards their neighbors—even when we may disagree politically.
America is deeply divided, and our politics have become so extreme and highly toxic, and there is plenty of blame to be shared on both sides of the political spectrum. All too often, we can’t look to our elected leaders to be the example of civil political discourse, especially during a heated campaign season, but as Americans we can take the responsibility on ourselves to set the example to our communities of proper civic engagement. We join together to ask that our fellow politicians, especially those already in positions of power, to bridge divides when possible and to show restraint in engaging in divisive rhetoric. We can no longer afford to have a deeply divided nation. We need to begin again to work together for the common good.
We believe everyone from all political viewpoints should come together as Americans to reject this breakdown in our political discourse. We believe that we can disagree without being disagreeable and we can look to find common-ground. Just because we may not see eye-to-eye on every issue, it does not mean that our opponents are inherently evil or not well-intentioned. What we say and how we say it matters.
This is a good time for all of us to take a hard look at our ourselves and the rhetoric we use every day and the way we treat people—especially those people with whom we most strongly disagree. Although you would be hard-pressed to find candidates for Congress that have more diverse political views and philosophies about the proper role of the government, as candidates for Utah’s Third Congressional District, we have great respect for each other. We have fundamental differences on the issues, but we speak about those differences thoughtfully and with regard toward one another.
What unites us all, a desire to serve and help our neighbors, is so much stronger than what sets us apart.
As Congressional candidates, we have spent a great deal of time visiting with people in the district, sharing our vision for America’s future, and listening to everyone that wants a better way. That is why we are recommitting to civil rhetoric and discourse and invite others, especially leaders in positions of power regardless of their political affiliation, to join us. We are committing to representing all Utahns—even those who may not agree with us all the time. We are asking you to take that same commitment and do what Utahns do best: be kind to one another.