You’ve had your eye on the debates.

Really, though, you know how you’d vote if the election were tomorrow. You know who you want to see in office, although you wish things were a little different: like most of your fellow Americans, you wish everybody’d just work together for once. But if you read “The Ultimate Guide to the 2020 Election” by Ryan Clancy & Margaret White, you’ll see that there’s hope.

Left over here. Right over there. Ever since America became a country, it’s been that way but things seem more polarized than ever lately. In the past, we somehow eventually ignored the politics, united, and got stuff done. Clancy and White, from the organization No Labels, say that kind of compromise is possible again.

So why don’t we automatically compromise to begin with?

According to Clancy & White, the political system today is such that candidates have little impetus to do what the majority of Americans want. They just need to appeal to their base, which consists of those who’ll reliably show up at elections. Putting offices in the hands of a small number of people pulls us further apart; the only thing to do, they say, is to push us back together.

The way to do it is through understanding and compromise.

Health care, climate change, immigration, and gun ownership are but a few of the toughest issues, and within each larger issue are smaller problems of concern. This book

explains the basic stances of Left and Right, followed by solutions that each side can feel comfortable with. Health care, for example, needs to rein in costs, and there are ways to borrow ideas from both sides to do it. In the chapter on climate change, we see why it’s not easy to be green. The pages about immigration explain how the system works before laying out the fixes. Overall, the authors say, there is no “all-or-nothing” way to get things done in government anymore.

Thinking otherwise is how we got into this situation and it has to change.

Like many people, when you think “politics,” you brace yourself. Common sense isn’t always what you expect from the government, but you’ll find it inside “The Ultimate Guide to the 2020 Election,” and that’s rather soothing.

Indeed, there are many times when authors Ryan Clancy & Margaret White hit the nail square — especially in their short list of major issues. In narrative that’s neutral, plain, and simple, they offer explanations to make things clear, and then we get solutions that both political sides can live with. Furthermore, this book lists questions to ask the candidates if you find yourself in a situation to do so, and a place to take notes so you have all your info in one spot. It’s like having a debate that both sides win.

Whether you lean left or run right, “The Ultimate Guide to the 2020 Election” is for you, but just don’t expect miracles. It’s totally helpful and completely commonsensical but as for changing minds, well, that’s debatable.

Contact book reviewer Terri Schlichenmeyer at www.bookwormsez.com or at bookwormsez@gmail.com.

Editor

I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.