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Letter: It's up to all Americans to encourage conflict resolution
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

We the People, you and I, shut down the government. I blame us because Congress represents us and our opinions.

The problem is that we turn complex ideological debates into simple, black and white statements: "Defund Obamacare! It's socialism in its evilest form and will bring America to its knees." "Whoever doesn't support Obamacare is heartless and doesn't want sick children in America to be happy and healthy."

The debate over Obamacare isn't that simple, but trying to turn it into such a simplistic issue makes it dramatically more polarizing where compromise seems like making a deal with the devil. However, our job as Americans is to fight our natural urge to take this easy, simple road.

We the People are supposed to help form a more perfect Union, but our attitudes create a poisonous Congress that can achieve nothing but a less-than-perfect Union. We all need to learn to appreciate and encourage the art of conflict resolution.

When we can accept and invite compromise, our representatives will be empowered to make true progress. Our "do or die" attitudes must be replaced with "give and take" attitudes.

Jacob Palma


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