Despite everyone feeling like we are standing on the precipice as a divided country, Americans agree with each other about more issues than you might think. A recent survey conducted by Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights and Institute of Politics finds that most of us don’t like the way we feel we are being divided. We also agree on the type of freedoms and rights we want and are concerned about those rights being under attack. Here are some key issues where a super majority of Americans agree are our basic rights.
Clean Air & Clean Water
On the basics of what we drink and what we breathe, 93% of Americans agree; we need access to clean water and clean air. In the last few years, it has become increasingly apparent that these things cannot be taken for granted. We rely on local, state, and national government systems and oversight to make sure we all have access to the fundamentals of our existence. Flint, Michigan opened many American’s eyes on how these systems can go drastically wrong to the great detriment of entire communities. The recent silver lining with the pandemic reminds us all that clean, non-polluted air has great value as well.
Protection of Privacy
The influence big brother is sounding the alarms for all but 7% of us. Personal information being sold to advertisers, government agencies using facial technology to target protesters, and information hacking have us all on edge. None of us want our televisions watching us or Alexa tracking our every search, but we also don’t know how to live without technology that potentially puts us at risk. We are all trying to navigate the technologies that make life easier without exposing ourselves in unforeseen ways.
Quality of Education
Everyone wants their kids to have the same opportunities to reach their potential. Access to quality education is one of the key ingredients to ensure that our children can thrive. A super bi-partisan majority (90%) also believe that it is an essential right to have equal opportunities for housing, employment, and the pursuit of happiness.
2020 has laid bare racial inequalities that have been festering for years. Despite news coverage of protesting, rioting, and fighting between demonstrators and law enforcement you might be surprised to find out that 92% of Americans have strong support for racial equality.
Affordable Health Care
COVID has taken a large human toll, but also created additional financial burdens for those who have been hit by the virus. In addition to losing a loved one, families are often saddled with insurmountable medical bills associated with trying to save them. Those who survive but needed hospitalization face potential long-term medical problems and deep debt in paying existing bills and bills to come. Our health care crisis has made our health care system crisis even worse.
In essence, or basic values are almost universally shared. We all want to be able to pursue our lives without meddling, have opportunities to pursue our dreams, be free from worry about the health and safety of our family, and be part of communities where we encounter each other in peace. Perhaps in the coming year, if we focused more of what makes us the same rather than what make us different we could live up to our potential as a UNITED States of America.