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I honestly think there’s a subject that we all can agree on, regardless of political party, and that is the idea that the values of democracy, that have guided our country since its founding, are vitally important and must be preserved. While it is possible to focus only on the ways that we interpret the Constitution differently, it is also possible to be grateful that we have a system of governance that uses laws to guide our society. If we don’t like the laws, we can vote to change them, but we can agree to prohibit people from simply breaking the laws they don’t like.

In another example, in a democracy the results of elections can be legally challenged, and subsequently either verified or found to be inaccurate. But once the verification process is complete, democracy does not condone overturning elections that have been judged to be fair. If you don’t like the outcome, try harder to support your candidates next time!

One vote for every person who registers is another tenet of democracy that we surelyall agree on. But making the process of voting more difficult for some voters than others, for example for disabled voters or voters without easy access to transportation, is not acceptable in a democracy.

Each of us is empowered to have our own opinions and to express them freely in our democracy, but we also agree to follow the rule of law, whether we agree with the law or not. The right to vote is our power when it comes to changing things we don’t like.

Obviously patience and effort are both required to bring about changes in a democracy, because everyone’s opinion must count equally in the overall outcome, not just the opinion of one group of people who want power over the other groups.

I’m proud to live in a democracy, and as a student of history I see that good times and bad are a part of the journey. But we, the people, have the power to change things for the better as long as we follow the rule of law and respect the power of each individual vote.

Susan Hull