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There is no doubt 2020 has posed many challenges for the American people; our political climate being a fine example of the tough decisions we have all been forced to make. While there is a great degree of separation amongst neighbors regarding their political, religious and overall moral views, it cannot be ignored that we are nonetheless, neighbors, through and through. Freedom is a thing to be shared. While some may choose their freedom for a so-thoughtfully deemed “beer and burger” lifestyle, some may also enjoy their freedom of a “kale and kombucha” style of living, if desired.

The misconception that one choice offers more or less freedom than the other is what we have fallen great victim to. Do we not all live here? Do we not all call this country "home?" While some of your neighbors may be choosing a different path in life than your own, is separation from what you do not want to see — from that which you consider foreign to your own beliefs — truly what one would consider "in everyone’s best interest?" Isn’t it in fact, only in the best interest of the one who does not wish to share their freedom with those who use it differently, thus leaving the rest neglected?

To love thy neighbor does not imply that we love our neighbor because they look, think, act, vote and pray the same way we do. Loving thy neighbor does not imply placing a veil between “them” and “us” so that we may never have the misfortune of crossing paths. When we accept that there is no separation between “us and “them,” we learn to face challenges together, not against one another. The beauty in this is that we are all fighting for the same thing: freedom. A freedom which allows us all to choose those varying ways in which we look, think, act, vote and pray.

The constant ebb and flow between Democratic and Republican parties is, overall, balanced. One Republican term opening up into a Democratic term in no way reflects that anyone’s freedom is on the line. It in no way implies that separation between citizens who call this country home is necessary for survival. To wage freedom is to share it equally between parties. For every Republican nomination, there are Democrats who wait in silent hope. For every Democratic nomination, there are Republicans who do the same. We all swallow our pride one term at a time, loving thy neighbor through the process.

Megan J. Yarusso

Prior Lake

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