Dear politicians...

June 13, 2021 9:55 PM ET society

Dear politicians,

You’re spending a lot of time trying to demonize the other side just to win control. But you still seem to not understand why people are upset with the partisan status quo.

You can try to “grow your party” or change your politics to attract more voters, but what we want is you to own your principles and suffer the consequences. Compromise is something that real people do every day, but you’re ransoming our entire government and society with your refusal to do it any day.

Here’s what we want, regardless of party:

  1. We want politicians who are actually representing their constituents’ views, not pushing their own personal agenda.
  2. We want politicians who are not in politics because of what it pays them or the business connections it makes for them.
  3. We want politicians who care about the people in their representation.
  4. We want politicians who listen to different opinions before speaking, and make space for others to speak theirs.
  5. We want politicians who tell the truth.
  6. We want politicians who acknowledge when they are wrong.
  7. We want politicians who communicate honestly, not ones who manipulate language to try and deliberately mislead people by word choice.
  8. We want politicians who do not value financial gain over everything else.
  9. We want politicians who are inspirational people in their own right, not because of their pedigree, their wealth, or their fame.
  10. We want politicians who are never afraid to face their constituents, before and after voting.
  11. We want politicians who consider their role to be public servants, not public leaders.
  12. We want politicians to disclose who donates money to them and why.
  13. We want politicians who encourage everyone to vote, and who seek to decrease corporate electioneering and the oversized role of corporations in government in general.
  14. We want politicians to refuse donations from groups that they ideologically disagree with.
  15. We want politicians to make efforts to make laws clear to regular people.
  16. We want politicians who seek to reduce the amount of money involved in politics, because we have greater issues facing us on which that money could be better spent.
  17. We want politicians who are moral.
  18. We want politicians who are educated.
  19. We want politicians who are not criminals outright, and who have not made a fortune exploiting loopholes at the expense of ordinary people.
  20. We want politicians who are wise enough to know what a conspiracy theory is and that it has no place in our society.
  21. We want politicians who understand what an “average” person’s life, income, and problems are like; preferably because they have been an “average” person themselves.
  22. We want politicians who accept and believe in the realities of our world as identified by history and scientific advancements to date (e.g. the world is round, the North won the Civil War, etc).
  23. We want politicians who care less about their party affiliation or advantage and more about what will make society better for the most people.
  24. We want politicians who will uphold their oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” even when those enemies are in their own party or representation.
  25. We want politicians who appreciate what makes America great, but are not blind to what could make it better.

This list may be subject to change (mostly because the modern GOP is a disgrace), but it’s a start.