Common Ground Conversations: Political Resolutions for the New Year

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Another year is almost gone, and one is on the way with a lot of political consequences. 

New Year’s resolutions are fun, and they offer chances at a fresh start.

When it comes to common ground in politics, looking ahead to how you might act differently towards folks on the so-called “other side” is important. After all, we share a common identity here in the Ozarks, and our shared experiences can outweigh the pull of political labels. 

Our KOLR10 common ground focus group offers some ideas.

One possibility for the new year is to think through what you believe, and why. 

“I like the idea of learning what their political beliefs are instead of being handed them,” Sam Smith, Democratic focus group member, said.

But if you’re not really much into politics, our group has a thought for you too.

“But how do we stimulate the interest in those who don’t read the newspaper, they don’t stay informed? Start with groups like this, right here,” Lanae Gillespie, Democrat focus group member, said.

Indeed, getting together for conversation around shared ideas and concerns is a great start.

“When you get people together, just common talk about typical subjects that affect everybody, affect everybody,” Don Patterson, Republican focus group member, said.

This doesn’t mean the chats will always be cordial, but they can be constructive. 

“Sometimes it turns into this heartwarming growing experience, and sometimes it devolves into an angry argument. Either way, everyone improves from being there,” Sam Smith, Democrat focus group member, said.

Then there’s something we should all make sure we do in 2018 – if we haven’t already.

“Whether people are going to vote or not, it’s good for them to be registered, so that way if they ever want to, if they have the inclination they have the ability too.”

Once registered, make 2018 your year to vote.

“You do not have a complaint, a gripe, if you do not go to the polls and vote. To me, you have no voice.” 

Let’s make political action and finding common ground a common occurrence in the Ozarks in 2018. 

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