An Apology Resolution from Republicans to Democrats (and the nation)

An Apology Resolution from Republicans to Democrats (and the nation)

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Nicholas Huey started this petition

Connection, break, and repair is the normal course of human relationships. We all have breaks with each other but as long as we can repair, the relationship can become connected again. Saying “sorry” is the most basic way to mend a broken connection. But when in the last 200 years have either of our nation’s parties said that painful, yet purifying word? Not in living memory.

In interpersonal relationships, the natural end to such blatantly unapologetic behavior is estrangement or divorce. Within countries, it’s civil war. And make no mistake, though it may seem distant, that’s where we’re headed. We need to begin treating our inter-party relationships like we would any other if we want to begin to function as a country once again.

So, from Republicans to our nation’s Democrats, we’re sorry. 

In the last few decades we have allowed our desire for American greatness to be eclipsed by an overwhelming desire to see you fail. As we’ve focused on winning voters, we’ve tried to make you look bad, in order to make ourselves look better. 

We’ve ignored or downplayed our own weaknesses, while magnifying and condemning yours. We’ve abandoned truth and fairness for short term political gains, while in the long run our nation has suffered. We’ve put party over country and made you the scapegoat when things go south, time and time again. 

Finger pointing is a dysfunctional approach to any problem. It only maintains the break. It’s time we did some introspection, and owned up to the ways in which we’ve messed up America. The following is a non-comprehensive list of wrongs that need to be recognized and righted:

  1. We’ve sacrificed unity at the altar of political gain. 
  2. We’ve weakened faith in the election process without solid evidence of fraud. We rushed to deny the veracity of our own loss in the 2020 election, but said nothing about fraud when we won subsequent elections. 
  3. We’ve used tools like the debt ceiling as political blackmail to achieve our aims, rather than focus on being a party with compelling solutions. 
  4. We’ve vilified you for “out of control spending” when you had power, and then immediately gone on extravagant spending sprees of our own.
  5. We’ve stalled Supreme Court appointments in the name of fairness, and then rushed them forward when it favored us. 
  6. We’ve gerrymandered our way to influence, letting politicians choose their voters, instead of respecting that -- in a republic -- the voters ought to choose who represents them.
  7. We've too often used “both sides do it” as an excuse to not hold ourselves and our allies accountable.
  8. We regularly accept campaign money from special interests, then cry “foul” when you do the same. 
  9. We've been slow to the table in civil rights and other 
  10. We have voted against increased transparency, and allowed leadership to be compromised by special interests and outside money. 
  11. We have rejected good ideas, simply because they came from the wrong mouth.
  12. We have left the enormous task of addressing climate change and other issues to you, rather than come to the table with solutions of our own. In fact, our go-to answer to the world’s greatest problems has been to say that democrats’ solutions are terrible, while half-heartedly advocating for our own. 
  13. We’ve used past actions to justify ever worsening behavior, lowering the bar for civil discourse and ethical governance year after year. 
  14. We’ve focused more on your weaknesses than your strengths, and more on our strengths than our weaknesses. 
  15. We have not been the fiscal conservative partners we've promised to be.

This partial list cannot possibly speak for every Republican, but it speaks for a silent majority of us, no matter what the erratic polls or click-bait media says. Everyday Republicans do not believe that the other 50% of American voters are evil. We are fed up with the hyper-partisan bickering, and embarrassed by the personality politics that have such a grip in D.C. 

America’s greatest achievements, from the Civil Rights Act to the Constitution itself, are all the results of bipartisan compromise. It’s time to do great things again. Time to reunite conservative strengths with liberal ones, so that the Great Experiment of America can carry on for centuries to come. 

Though not everything will change at once, we're committing to do better. Those of us who believe in civility and collaboration in politics commit to take a more active role to de-tribalize American politics, and fix the problems listed above. We hope that this apology can be a small first step in striving for unity once more. 

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