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We’re all in this together

By Lee H. Hamilton | 4/25/2018, 11:37 a.m.

Because democracy places demanding responsibilities on its citizens — to cast an informed vote, to engage in the dialogue of democracy with civility and a

willingness to learn, to make discriminating judgments about politics and politicians, to work with others to strengthen the institutions of democracy and

improve our part of the world.

We will disagree with one another about all kinds of issues — but also know that we need to accept and tolerate those differences, because we are far stronger when we seek to reconcile them rather than ignore or exacerbate them.

Let’s not deny it: the trends these days are worrisome. We face a bewildering array of dangers to our republic. Authoritarian rule and autocratic leadership, once unthinkable, are now true concerns. We are subject to unwanted foreign influence, prey to public and private figures who use government to pursue money and power and manipulate the rules of the game for personal gain, and at the

mercy of politicians who believe that whatever it takes to win is just fine.

But if we also lose trust that we, as citizens, can turn the republic around by shouldering our responsibilities to act, that’s when we’re truly sunk.

Lee Hamilton is a Senior Advisor for the Indiana University Center on

Representative Government. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.