Marco Rubio did not spare many kind words for President Obama during his bid for the GOP nomination. He famously repeated that Obama has been "undertaking a systematic effort to change America."
Despite vigorous disagreement, there is one issue they clearly agree on: that our political process is broken.
Rubio's concession speech on Tuesday warned his party and the country about the dangerous political climate we've entered:
The politics of resentment against other people will not just leave us a fractured party, they are going to leave us a fractured nation.
They are going to leave us as a nation where people literally hate each other because they have different political opinions.
Rubio's final speech reminded us of another from January: Obama's final State of the Union:
Democracy does require basic bonds of trust between its citizens. It doesn’t work if we think the people who disagree with us are all motivated by malice, or that our political opponents are unpatriotic.
Obama dedicated much of his speech to our polarized political culture and poor civic engagement. He went on to say:
Democracy grinds to a halt without a willingness to compromise; or when even basic facts are contested, and we listen only to those who agree with us.
"The future we want will only happen if we fix our politics"
Marco Rubio and President Obama want very different futures for America. Yet their words mirror one another—a rare occurrence for such diametrically opposed leaders. Their frustration is evident, and, for once, not directed at their political adversaries. Both Rubio's and Obama's frustration is with our broken civic discourse.
An issue bigger than one party, or one election
Fixing our politics is a tall order. But thankfully this isn't a partisan issue. The same frustration is felt by conservatives and liberals alike. That frustration may manifest differently on either side but the solution to fix it must be politically inclusive. We can't leave anyone out, else we risk making the problem worse.
Openvote, our humble effort
Openvote is a new crowd-voting platform for elections launching this summer. We started this company as an effort to restore empathy, consideration, and engagement to politics. Needless to say, we have our work cut out for us.
We'll have more to share soon.