Given the turmoil and near complete dysfunction in Washington these days, I long for the time

when our North Star, the rock we tied our ship to, the gold standard for people of good will, including our elected representatives, was "the common good".

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The Democratic Party seems to have been kidnapped by the extreme left and the Republican Party has been kidnapped by the extreme right. For the 70 percent of us Americans in the middle, it doesn't seem like anyone is representing us.

We think Obamacare is not perfect but don't repeal it unless you have a better idea. We don't think much of a 15-foot border wall unless we figure out a way to get rid of 16-foot ladders. We don't know how we will pay for universal health care or free college tuition for students. We think presidents should act presidential. We are adamant about protecting and preserving Social Security and Medicare. We cherish the memory of John McCain who made the common good and the art of compromise his goal in everything he did.

Bottom line is that we think our leaders need to get away from the "my way or the highway" attitude they seem to have and work for the benefit of all.

To me, the common good is when people of good will say I'll take what's good about your idea and you take what's good about my idea and let's put together something that benefits as many people as we possibly can.

In these volatile election years, with so much at stake, the campaign ads have become increasingly vitriolic and it seems like the winners become even more polarized and take that bitterness back to Washington rather than look to do what is best for the American people.

Let's hope John McCain's death will get our leaders to take a look back and remember what made America great. When everyone worked for the common good.

Brudvik lives in West Fargo