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Laura A. Belmonte, The Purple States Manifesto (Version 2.

0) We reject the tired notion of Red states, Blue states. We are all Red, all Blue. We are Purple, one nation divided, diverse, but still American. We stand together in the belief that polarization hurts us all, solves nothing, and ensures that our children and grandchildren will live in a country less powerful, less hopeful, less happy than the one we know. Together, we have conquered the British, slavery, fascism, segregation, polio, and communism. Surely, we can apply that same determination, courage, and genius to defeating climate change, racism, gridlock, and debt. We are not moochers or takers. We are awake. We have witnessed middle-class wages stagnate for two generations. We have watched, with dismay, as unprecedented income inequality means our pensions disappear, our wages are cut, and the American dream as weve known it is distorted into an oligarchic, winner-take-all monstrosity. We do not believe that government is the answer for everything, but it is the answer for some things. Aiding our most vulnerable, defending our borders and our interests, responding to natures brutal uncertainties, building and maintaining our infrastructure, ensuring equality of opportunity does not become a relic of the past. Government can do good. But it can do nothing if we allow special interests, cowardice, and partisanship to leave future generations paying for benefits they will not share, longing for an upward mobility that no longer exists. We are Christian, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, spiritual, atheist, irreligious. And we do not think that faith and science are mutually exclusive. We are white. And brown. And black. And yellow. And red. And innumerable combinations thereof. We celebrate the not-too-distant future where the United States looks like the rest of the world. Rage all you will, but this is an inexorable reality. We, unlike you, do not lament the death of traditional America. That is the America where Emmett Till was lynched. Where terms like sexual harassment and domestic violence didnt exist. Where our Hispanic brothers and sisters were smeared as wetbacks. Where Native Americans were victims of genocide and stripped of their

lands. Where Asians were barred from our shores. Where women were solely defined as wives and mothers. Where Jews read Gentiles only want ads. Where children worked in coal mines. Where safety codes, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, minimum wage, and paid vacations were found only in dreams. We demand truth and openness. We deserve to know if our democracy is being sold to the highest bidder and if so, who is buying it and why. We believe that the richest nation in the world should be able to find a way to ensure that no American dies because of a lack of health care without simultaneously allowing our insurance companies and the prescription drug industry to hold us hostage; that national security does not necessitate our spending more on defense than the rest of the world combined; and that it is far past time to create a standardized, impartial national system where votes are cast efficiently, fairly, and without fear of intimidation or invalidation. We demand that our public officials stop playing games, start compromising, and begin the hard work of tackling our fiscal crisis bravely, realistically, now. We are willing to sacrifice, even to die, for America if she is attacked by those who hate us, but we will not be lied to about the causes and costs of war again nor stand idly by while our warriors are expected to bear more than even the strongest soldier could endure. We are old and young; illiterate and educated; queer and straight; single and married; rich and poor; Southern, Northern, Eastern, Western. And we implore you to listen beyond whatever echo chamber you inhabit. Let us prove we are so much more than the cynics claim, than the ratings require. There is a future we can build together; a bridge over all that divides us. Isnt it time we do it?