In listening to some of the recent proceedings around the nomination of a new Supreme Court justice, I was struck by a sense of hope for our republic. It was plain that the opposing political parties had differing views of what qualifies someone for a lifetime appointment to that court. What gave me hope was the realization that we resolve these and other differing views in the framework set forth by the Constitution.

This country has an enviable past of hashing our differences out according to the rules set forth by the Founding Fathers. By contrast, in other parts of the world today, we see political differences sometimes resolved by violent civil disturbance, imprisonment of dissidents or by calling out the army. In America, thankfully, the battles of ideas have historically been resolved with words and the ballot box.

Today there are divisions, sometimes bitter, between some factions in our society. We have heard from both sides of the political divide that the election of the opposing candidate will mean the end of American democracy or society. The reality is that the government institutions of our country are stronger than our political divisions, our disagreements and the human weaknesses of our political leaders. Our republic will survive, and perhaps even thrive if the candidate we oppose is elected. We thrive as a country not because a particular political figure is the answer to our problems. Rather, we thrive because we agree as a country on the principles of freedom and structure of government enshrined in our constitution.

Steve Sanford, Bakersfield