The challenges facing the next U.S. president and congress that will take effect in January 2017 is unlike anything in living memory. In case you haven’t noticed, the citizens of America are angry, and our patience with the dysfunction and corruption in Washington DC has run out.

This election campaign may have been a warning shot over your bow, your last chance to take action before a more violent revolution takes hold in the most heavily armed nation on the planet. We ignore these signs at our peril.

It’s time for our elected leaders to stop misleading us and become real leaders, who address the real problems facing real Americans. How do leaders solve these problems when citizens disagree on so much? That is the biggest question!

Things to consider: Start by avoiding the temptation and tradition of playing to your base in the first 100 days, which would further alienate half the country. Instead, bring the country together by identifying and acting on the issues that most Americans agree on.

Stop playing to your base and talk respectfully with each other, not at each other, and most importantly, listen for areas of agreement on which to build compromise. There are many areas that most Americans would gladly address, such as:

  • Taking the money out of politics and making us feel as if you actually represent us – not the lobbyists, special interests and rich donors.
  • Ending the dysfunction and doing your jobs (your job is to work together as Americans to do what is best for Americans, NOT to get re-elected or put yourself or your party over our country).
  • Revive the American Dream, where hard work assures us a good life. Invest our tax dollars in the real issues to improve life for all Americans, not in foreign wars.
  • Rebuild America’s infrastructure.

Show us that you can work together on important issues and prove that democracy can work for all of us, and that our institutions will have a future. If you fail then the great American experiment will be replaced by something else. We have no reason to believe that this “something else” will be as good as what you might have saved. And that’s something that we can all agree on. Let’s rise to the challenge, embrace our common interests and be real leaders.