Instead of confronting these urgent challenges, politicians in Washington use them to divide us. Half-truths and recycled talking points masquerade for leadership. And on issue after issue, nothing changes.
Unlike Washington, the American people haven’t given up on our country. They refuse to hand our children less opportunity, not more.
That is why I am running for President. Like most Americans, I do not accept that our economy and our politics are too broken to fix.
In this election, beating President Donald Trump is essential. But it is not enough. He is a symptom of our economic and political sclerosis, not the primary cause. In 2020, we must answer a deeper question: How can we move from permanent gridlock to enduring progress?
Looking ahead, our country has three courses of action.
But even if these policies had been wise, which they were not, the one-party course would still be wrong. Passing sweeping policy on a party-line vote, only to see it reversed in the next election, is not progress. There is no two-year solution to heath care, inequality, or climate change.
To make lasting progress, we have to take a third route and advance ideas that break our partisan divide.
Solutions like these are not only how we win; they are how we break the logjam in Washington and make real progress.
Electoral victory is important, but it is not an end in itself. It is intended to set in motion a pluralist process to resolve our disputes and move the country forward. We have many points of view in our country, and rediscovering our will to navigate and negotiate them is how we correct our course. This is not a call for lazy moderation or lame bipartisan agreements that split the difference between yesterday’s obsolete ideas. It is a call for the difficult, imaginative give-and-take that can produce enduring results.
Some people might say that’s naïve. I think it’s more naïve to think we can keep doing what we’re doing and expect anything meaningful to change for our country.
That will not be easy with a politics awash in special interest money and elected officials who quake at the first sign of a social media storm. But that’s the reality. The Depression wasn’t easy. World War II wasn’t easy. The civil rights movement wasn’t easy. We’ve shown the necessary mettle before.
For the sake of our country and the next generation, we need to show it again.