Americans should focus on their similarities

April 30, 2014 at 5:05 p.m.
Updated April 29, 2014 at 11:30 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

I do not like the divide I am experiencing with some of my neighbors and those who were once good friends. Instead of finding ways to work together in our community, state and nation, we have begun to treat each other as enemies.

Republicans and Democrats have let their affiliations to a party separate them in ways that are not good for us as neighbors, and it has certainly made it difficult for us to work together as a country.

I believe that we have more in common than we have differences. For example, we don't always agree on how our government spends our money, but we all agree that deficit spending has to stop. While we differ about the proper regulatory role of government and a host of tax policies, we are united in the belief that we spend far too much money on ineffective programs that do not serve the best interests of the American people. Neither side favors wasteful subsidies. Both parties should be working together to eliminate them.

Both parties believe in a strong national defense, but we do not need to outspend all the rest of the combined countries in the world by about 15 times. We agree we need to make our federal, state and local governments more efficient. Payment errors, duplicated programs and inefficient processes squander billions of dollars each year.

We do have problems to solve, and our petty focus on being too liberal or too conservative has not had any positive results. It has divided us. We have let ourselves get distracted by all the name calling. Let's not let the 24-hour news networks, which fill in factual news with opinions, keep everybody stirred up.

I, for one, hope we can wake up and focus on working together to solve our country's real problems. As Abraham Lincoln said, "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in."

Jim Bluntzer, Goliad



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