Facing A Wall In Presidential Elections

The southern border wall

There is no doubt that the southern border wall is an issue in our national politics. If you asked almost any Trump supporter before the election, they gave a positive response to the promise of a southern border wall. It spoke to concerns of security and preservation of country. It’s not a phony sentiment—it’s real.

031319 Wall

Damian Paletta and Erica Werner recently brought attention to the wall in their Washington Postarticle, “Trump to demand $8.6 billion in new wall funding, setting up fresh battle in Congress.” The article is a history of the wall events, noting how it morphed into an emergency after closing the government for 35 days. The article notes how, while illegal border crossings have fallen in recent years, there’s been a sharp increase in the recent month. It catches people’s attention, especially when our president leverages the issue emerging from his 2016 campaign promise.

Lucy Rogers and Dominic Bailey of the BBC outline the complexities of the wall in their article: Trump wall – all you need to know about U.S. border in seven charts. It isn’t a simple concern.

Yet, rather than U.S. citizens coalescing around the issue, the wall has effectively polarized the nation. Some are for building the wall. Others are against it.

We all have a wall in our midst

There are other walls, however, that are silently being constructed. These walls are everywhere. They’re not constructed on borders. These walls materialize quickly and are torn down slowly (if ever).

The walls of which I speak are those built in our neighborhoods, in our homes, between members of our own families and our friends. I suspect there are few who have had no conflicts, no arguments, and no obvious differences of opinion when politics emerge. It’s often this way, but recent times have exacerbated the divide. Today’s politics has built a wall in many living rooms and across many dinner tables.

What do we do with these walls?

The question becomes: How do we deal with the wall(s) we face? How do we speak to each other and still hold the relationships together? Or, in our quiet moments, how do we wrestle with the awareness that those we love think and feel so differently than we do? Where and how did this wall get here? What do we do now?

We remain divided. It’s almost like we have donned separate t-shirts, belong to different teams, and are now ready to fight each other. Logic is gone—on both sides, by the way. The divide—the wall—is built with bricks of emotion.

The wall gets higher when we argue fervently and with an attitude that prizes winning at all costs. I’m right and you’re wrong! It’s a battle cry, even when it’s not spoken out loud. Family rifts tear us apart when earlier we’d give our very lives for each other. Have we lost our senses?

The wall that separates us challenges Equal Voice Voting

Consider this backdrop as I try to get people to consider an election mechanism that allows for everyone’s presidential vote an equal representation. It’s an election approach that exercises our democracy at a very fundamental level.

Most people shy away from such discussions. You’re an exception if you’ve read this blog this far. You’re especially unique if you’ve explored the Equal Voice Voting formula. If you have you’ll realize that Equal Voice Voting (EVV) invites those who don’t agree with you to vote—and be counted. Their vote(s) and your vote both matter, and it doesn’t matter which state any of us live in.

Equal Voice Voting tears down our political walls

Equal Voice Voting allows the Electoral College mechanism to be exercised as it was originally intended. It addresses the problem of the winner-takes-all approach and removes it from the mix. Each state contributes a proportional Electoral College vote result that reflects—represents—all of its voting citizenry. It does not suppress any vote. Instead, EVV encourages voters to cast their ballots, taking an active and patriotic part in the democratic process.

Equal Voice Voting does not need a U.S. Constitutional amendment. It does not require any state to act in concert with any other but can independently listen to all constituents.

Listening removes the walls

Listening seems to be the missing piece in all discussions about walls. Be it the confusion and conflict in Washington over the southern border wall or the wall in our homes. We must listen to each other. Listen to each other’s values and perspectives. Listening does not need to be a lost skill—we’re all capable of it and we probably have all done so before. Let’s do it again – and again – and again.

And let’s listen to all voters when electing a president. Let’s use Equal Voice Voting to ensure everyone’s perspective and values and voting voice is represented. We need each other more than ever if we want walls to come down.

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