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This letter comes from Jim Cronin in Parker. He wrote to us about politicians getting their act together. We'll chat with him about it Monday night on Next, at 6.

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I have been watching the campaign debates, political ads, and news reports this election season and I am terribly concerned about the future of our democracy. I have watched both parties participate in the total destruction of what used to be constructive political discourse. I have seen both parties ignore the signs of a growing anger among the people, the result being this current disgraceful state of affairs in the election process. If nothing happens to change the very near future, then we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Here is an open letter I have constructed to all of our elected officials. I may just be venting my own frustrations here, but I hope you can help.

To all our elected officials:

It is time to put aside partisan nonsense and get down to the hard work of governing. Members of both parties should be well aware by now that many Americans are desperately angry at the political gamesmanship played on both sides of the aisle and are willing to do almost anything to vent their anger. If nothing changes in next few years to assuage this anger and show the people our government can indeed produce results, then we are in for an even greater outburst from even more divisive groups in the future. Our elected officials are at the crossroads now and need to decide if they are willing to prove they can do the job we have elected them to do, or face a total upheaval of our political system by an angry and frustrated electorate who feels completely disenfranchised.

Democrats and Republicans alike need to end their juvenile feud and find a way to sit down and work out their differences in an adult and mutually respectful manner which produces real and measurable results. The reality is that not everyone will be completely satisfied with whatever these results may be, but that is only due to the great diversity of needs in our country. What works for one group may not benefit another. However, when everyone works together and has the best interest of all involved at heart, then, in the grand scheme, there will at least be some be benefits for everyone. Maybe not as much as they would have liked, but some. Rather than hold out for complete repeal of something you don’t like, or continue to attempt to discredit your opponent through endless and expensive litigation, work together to improve what everyone can agree on what needs fixing. Work to make things better rather than accept nothing less than total dismantling of programs which have some measure of appeal and worth.

Standing on one’s principles is a fine thing, for individuals. However, this country is made of many individuals and groups which hold many different and equally valid sets of principles. Our constitution guarantees equal treatment of all people from all manner of backgrounds and situations. No one set of principles can be held as superior over another. All must be held as equal and handled respectfully when creating the laws of the land. In the end, Again, in the end, depending on the realities and circumstances of each piece of legislation, there will be times when one set of ideals may prevail while another will take precedence another time. This is democracy in action.My plea is that all of our elected officials, no matter their party affiliation, and all private citizens of this country, wake up and accept the fact that this nation is made of a tremendous diversity of ideas, philosophies and ideologies as well as life styles, occupations, and needs which may, at times, be at odds with each other. No one group can expect to be held as having all the answers. Only sitting down and working together, holding civil discourse with one another can improve our current situation. The handwriting is on the wall. We need to get serious and work together, or face an even uglier future.

Thank You for listening.Bye for Now,

Jim Cronin