A Bad Day Knocking on Doors in Our Polarized Country

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2 mins read

I was knocking on doors today and one of my constituents told me, “If I had my way, I’d gas every Democrat on the planet.”  

While not easily triggered, I, like most Jews, get uneasy when I hear suggestions that a group of people should be gassed. I am not angry. But I am sad. Is this really who we are? Are we so divided that anyone with the wrong letter next to their name is automatically the enemy? 

I’ve knocked on thousands of Republican, Independent and Democratic doors. I love having conversations with folks in my district especially when we don’t agree, because we shouldn’t agree on everything. In fact, we should debate each other, using our disagreements to come up with solutions together that are better than any single one of our ideas on its own.

E pluribus unum — “Out of many, one.” As the world’s oldest democracy, this nation is defined by that promise. Our country is defined by the many generations of Americans over the past 246 years who, regardless of their backgrounds, worked with people who were different from themselves to make this experiment in democracy more than just a short-lived historical footnote, a momentary exception to a human history defined by autocrats, oligarchs, and kings.

I believe that the success of the United States, and our democracy, is going to require all of us — we, the people — to find ways to work together to solve the enormous challenges we face.

I’m running for office, knocking on every door I can, because I know all too well that democracies can fail, and that ours doesn’t have to. Will you join me? 


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Ilya Breyman is a candidate for the 178th House District of PA. He is a father, entrepreneur and first-generation American.

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