From the gridlock in Washington, to actual physical clashes between protestors on the streets of Portland, and now a series of what appear on the face of it politically-motivated bomb scares. The party lines seem more entrenched than ever. Indeed, several experts told the Texas Standard just last month – the political center just isn’t holding.
It’s no surprise people are angry and divided. Some of the most contentious issues in politics today – things like gun rights, abortion, and immigration – get to the core of how people identify themselves – and what they believe the country stands for.
Individual elections, court rulings, judicial appointments, and the outcomes of bills are cast as “wins” and “losses” for either the Republicans or Democrats. Garland resident David Hasley is fed up.
“We are tired of the BS, we want the US,” Hasley says.
Hasley was wearing a red and blue checked shirt the day of our interview. It matched the pin on his chest that said “UnifyUS.” It’s the name of a movement he’s trying to lead to encourage civil political discourse, cooperation, and compromise.
“We just need to tweak it and get it back to ‘we the people’ run it rather than the Republican party or the Democratic party because that doesn’t necessarily represent ‘we the people’ – it represents a small percentage of the people, I believe,” Hasley says.
His plan? Get people to sign up online and tell him what they believe most people can agree on – maybe things like infrastructure and education – then he’ll send that information to their representatives.
“Let’s figure out a way to come to the middle and sit there and say, hey, how can we fix these issues that we can agree on and then build the trust so we can reach out to the things that we disagree on and we’ll have a better chance of coming up with a solution that’s best for both sides,” Hasley says.