Some national news media have become biased, seeking to influence rather than report. In doing so, they foment strife, and are not due the respect or privileges once deserved.

Political parties stonewall legislation they agree with only because it might help the other party gain more seats.

Some in government law agencies are so corrupt and deceitful that they undermine any ability to know the truth.

Social media invite a lynch mob mentality, where no one checks facts personally, or seeks pros and cons from both sides but instead takes a friend's or relative's word for it.

As a country we're divided on serious major moral issues. There's no middle ground such as half an abortion, half your religious liberty, half your free speech or half a gun.

Where's our hope?

Let's start here: Listen fully to others' stories, feelings and views. Listen more than you speak. Have compassion for those you speak with. Ease off uncaring rhetoric.

Next, don't speak for groups. Represent only yourself. Quit web discussing. Choose to dialogue on touchy issues only when you can meet with someone in person and are as concerned for them as for your views.

Without choosing such self-limits, we'll destroy ourselves.

Bill Northrup, Eugene