Reconciliation

Heal the Divide

America is more polarized and divided now than at any time in living memory. Both sides seem to agree that the basic problem is the horrible people on the other side. Both sides are wrong. The basic problem is the division itself. A divided public lacks the strength to resist exploitation or to overcome the inertia of the status quo. The classic American can-do spirit exhausts itself in endless battles. So let’s heal the divide.

Today, powerful undemocratic forces have a death grip on our nation. There is only one way to break that grip and restore power to the people. That is a broad popular movement that unites left and right, Black and White, urban and rural, young and old, and working people of all ethnicities.

This populist uprising is not defined by its enemies. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recognizes that even the elites have become prisoners of the system they have created. Many of them no longer believe in it, despite the wealth and power it gives them. They too are welcome to defect to the movement of people power.

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Kennedy has clear positions on most of today’s divisive trigger issues like abortion, guns, and immigration, but he knows that both sides have legitimate concerns and legitimate moral positions. No one is deplorable. Furthermore, most of the disagreements obscure deeper shared values.

Everyone wants their children to be safe. No one wants more abortions, nor do they want to force women to undergo unwanted pregnancies. Everyone wants safe streets, yet few wish for millions of people to languish in prison.

Kennedy will draw on the broad moral agreements beneath our divisions. He will model careful listening, and create conditions where each group can hear the stories of the other. He will lead the way toward national reconciliation, respectful dialog, and willingness to change, to grow, and to forgive.

These commitments to respect and unity start right now, in the campaign. In Kennedy's own words, “Every nation, like every individual, has a darker side and a lighter side. The easiest thing for a politician to do is to appeal to our greed, to our anger, to our fear, to our xenophobia, our bigotry, all of the alchemies of tribalism. I will appeal instead to our generosity as a people, our goodness, our kindness, and our courage.”

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