This is the fourth and final interview from my time in Mishawaka, Indiana. I am not revealing anything about these interviewees in order to highlight the fact that people’s answers often align and don’t depend on party line. This interview focused largely on the importance of people being moderates and compromising.
Her vision of citizenship:
I look at citizenship on a local level, not a national level. So, my keys to being a good citizen are community engagement and involvement. I know that’s a little shortsighted, but that’s just my bent.
The needed ingredient for good national citizenship:
But to be a good citizen on the global level, you need to have some tolerance. I think you need to be willing to be moderate. You can’t have an alt-left or an alt-right and get anything done. You have to listen to the other point view, and think about what’s good for the country, not necessarily what’s good for you.
How she thinks about moderates and extremists:
The average person accepts that there are differences of opinions. Moderates think they’re right. But they don’t think the other side is a complete idiot; they’re just wrong. The ultra conservative and ultra liberal are of a great more danger. They’re too rigid, and it’s hard to move forward when people are rigid.
What both sides need to do improve as citizens:
We have to compromise more. Everybody isn’t going to get everything want.
I think Republicans could be a little bit more of a socialist creature. Republicans typically take care of their own, and they’re anti-government. But they need to accept that the programs we live and die for – social security and medicare – are socialist programs. If they accept other programs like that, they’d be great.
Democrats, on the other hand, need to understand that the white, lower class white person has felt disenfranchised for years. And not everything needs to be politically correct. Just because I want to have a Christmas pageant doesn’t mean I’m evil.
What all Americans need to know:
They need to know that just because someone doesn’t look like you doesn’t mean they’re not American.
They need to know that for a lot of traditional Americans history is really important.
They need to know for our future to be good we need to compromise.
Her ideas about the American Founding:
We all need to know about the Founding Fathers, and not the Disney version. You need to know these were men, and some women, who had flaws. Sam Adams was a son of a b****. Thomas Jefferson was a womanizer. Everybody had their own agenda. And they weren’t forming a Christian union. They were forming a union of equals (albeit that meant something different back then). My biggest problem with the conservatives is that we are not a theocracy. The bible is not the Constitution.
What we can all do to be better Americans: