No matter where we stand in our country’s political and civil alienation and split, we are all challenged together, and it is critical to recognize that we all have work to do to mend this. We can’t afford to withdraw, even though it is likely to be overwhelming for many of us. What if you’re clearly on the side of science, equal voting rights for all people, immigration reform, and opposing views on how to run defense, global safety, and different ideas of how to take care of everyone through economic strategy?
You still have to give great attention to how you convey your attitudes — which applies to everyone, no matter where we stand. It’s important to acknowledge the dangers of superiority, anger, and hatred, especially in light of the slim majority in the country feeling superior to the slim minority. There is a big difference between believing strongly that we are right about equal rights or any of the other pressing issues of our times and meeting it with impatience, aggression, and a strong superior disdain.
Why should we care about communicating our views better?
To me, there isn’t equivalency on both sides of the political spectrum when it comes to supporting science, democracy, the crucial importance of the truth once we have double-checked election results, the right to vote, and considering everyone without prejudice.
However, the attitudes on both sides must build new awareness and follow through for our chance to heal as a nation. Just because we might be on the so-called ‘right side’ of representing democracy, there is great danger that we frequently don’t know how to talk with each other — giving rise to hopelessness, condescension, and disdain.
We all need to see room for compromise or assertion depending on the positions being addressed. Almost all of us can make ourselves believe that we aren’t that important because we’re just one person and in most cases, we aren’t a person of “significant influence.”
But if we take a step back to see the bigger picture, we will realize there are hundreds of millions of us in this same position; it is a massive potential to save our democracy if we get very involved. This would involve setting healthy boundaries with sensible attitudes in numerous ways when discussing these issues. For example, if either party feels that the other has an attitude that is triggering then it is vital that each person finds the right way to express their view.
Something like, “I would like you to stay with the issues or what you believe in, but would ask you to start again with a kinder or more even attitude because it will help me listen.”
This would be very beneficial in optimizing the chances of keeping the conversation going in a more positive way.
We are focusing on the best conditions for creating an attitude/tone of voice and motivation that is not alienating in itself even if we feel otherwise about the opposing issues. We are all wounded by the dangers we might face if our democracy fails. Citizens and representatives are not reliably using the best communication practices to help heal our nation. It is not just who is right that’s important; how both sides communicate (privately and through media) is a major factor to give us a chance to address the perspectives we are dealing with.
The counter to all these positions and more is paradoxical in that there needs to be a psychological approach as we debate to empathize with the “other’s view.” Even though we disagree with the premise or the reality of what we believe we have seen, a dialogue must be supported.
Questions to ask to bridge the division growing in our country
When I did my best to hear the voices of those who supported President Trump, I attempted to listen to what they’d say if they were given a clear joint mutual forum. It has helped me see that we all feel vastly misunderstood, and it’s possible that having an open dialogue would propel us toward specific healing directions.
There are three ways we can give ourselves the best chance to seek to address issues of difference.
- An attitude change on both sides.
- Looking for gray areas (if they exist) to take it out of a black and white disagreement.
- Supporting and insisting that both sides convey their sources of information and drill down to concrete information.
For example, as we will address later in the article, there is the possibility that the conversation about abortion might not stay with just the extremes— Pro-life vs. Women’s Rights. Instead, there might be a proposal to look into a middle position of how long it takes for a woman to reliably know she is pregnant and get an abortion if she chooses. This would be useful, instead of a blanket time period like six weeks or six months. The relativity, which often can lead to a real solution might be nearer to two months.
Another critical aspect from the pro-life perspective is the question of when life starts. However, this requires us to play the role of god and interpret religious teachings. It would be helpful if all sides realize that none of us is in a position to really be experts and to start with some humility. In addition, given the cultural and religious diversity and differences, there might be some critical yet open-minded debate about life at birth vs life at conception with respect to abortion in America.
All of the issues we will be addressing are attempting to bring the three new strategies to the divisions in our most controversial issues. It’s important to see each issue in a relative manner and not have an attitude that eliminates contemplation. Similarly, our attitudes and manner of expression can increase or reduce any chances of mediation between two groups who might be open and willing to compromise. We are so conditioned to take extreme positions and ignore the sense of the potential wisdom of relativity.
On election fraud:
For example, for those on the side of election fraud and similar views, the communication can be something like:
“It must be difficult to believe that you feel the election was stolen and have it still stand. I would like to know your sources of information specifically to help me understand your views. What specifically did your sources show in concrete terms about the numbers of votes that were discovered? I would also like you to convey the specifics of where the fraud existed, and what evidence you have. What have the courts said, and given that many of them are Republican judges, how do you dismiss this?”
From the other side, it might start like this:
“It also must be difficult to believe the election is fair, and there are false claims of fraud. You need to substantiate your claims by addressing court cases, officials in high standing that have the evidence they have is substantial. What are the sources you are using for your beliefs to demonstrate the accuracy of the voting and revoting tallies?”
On border control and immigration reform:
Similarly, here’s how we can have a less divisive attitude about another critical issue:
“It must be hard to see the borders being run over. The Biden administration needs to clarify realistic limits as to how many immigrants we’ll let in. What are your sources of information that show there are immigrants coming in illegally? How many immigrants do you think would be the sensible amount to allow? What kind of screening process would you suggest?”
“It must be difficult for you to see the benefit of workers coming across the border and see that they have been a golden key to working as agricultural workers so successfully, as was obvious when Texas restricted their working in the fields for a year that led to a disaster. What kind of limits do you think there should be to make it balanced to allow for safety, and for American workers to have a chance to get the jobs they need? What kind of process would you suggest to screen the workers, secure the borders and what kinds of limits could we set?”
Our constitution never supported equal rights of opportunity, wages, and voting from the beginning. We all need to explain why we think we deserve more rights based on where we were raised or the color of our skin or else bluntly state that we believe we are superior. This needs to be brought down to tangible issues, one by one. The main difficulty here is that unwittingly or unconsciously most of us have participated in a society that hasn’t been living up to the ideals that have common sense related to equality. It seems evident that both parties have not significantly followed through on issues like low-income housing opportunities with modular housing, and the other equal rights just mentioned. If we become more conscious of the details of equal rights it will be a great humbling, especially for the wealthy class. There needs to be a neutral caring voice that we all participate in to vote for representatives that really are ready to live up to the vague ideals that our constitution implies.
We need to see that there is a difference in the strategy of trickle-down economics, equal opportunities for the poorer members of our nation, and vote accordingly, as is provided in our constitution. We need to be able to reverse the roles in areas like appointing supreme court judges in the last year of office or say that it’s truly the law of the land. No double standards are allowed, or it needs to be openly shown that there is one party that is not following the constitution. We as the people need to wake up and get involved and not just blame our leaders. We are implicated in being responsible as a result of our passivity, and it is a great incentive if we awaken to be active citizens.
How to honor and respect democracy with others’ views
We need to have a public forum available to everyone that reveals the ongoing information about global warming that should be a critical part of the news. Science needs to be a channel where there is room for all peer-reviewed and ethically sound scientific studies with verified sources that all parties and factions agree on. A bipartisan group must support this with international bodies when our politics are too divided which could include the United Nations/World Health Organization or the appropriate international bodies. When not in agreement, this must be voted on by the country on critical issues as to who the trusted authorities are. The people in many of the issues of our times are more reliable than the leaders that represent us. Whatever is needed to be brought to a national level of voting because our congress is divided needs to be an option that is created because of the deadlock we face.
The people are the foundation of our democracy and always have to be.
We might legitimately question, “What’s the point when we are seeing clear evidence of scapegoating, bigotry, violating democracy in front of our eyes in the congress, etc.?”
How can we present ideas like the ones in this article that are more extended to all of us, because we see our very way of living is making this a get involved or let democracy die issue today.
The main points of democracy are free speech, equal rights, dignity and freedom for everyone, voting rights, accountability by the law, peaceful protests, and freedom of expression that doesn’t threaten others’ lives. We need to open the door to see if representatives of this view can then be asked, “What are the alternatives needed to ensure these rights?”
The violence, injuries to people and the lack of equality is the most severe problem, not the disagreements. There may be a way to both give freedom to the different views and set the boundaries around violence and inequality. We could make a great comparison to how countries, religions, and even spiritual approaches feel superior. The difficulty isn’t as much the views, even though they are problematic, but the violence and lack of equal rights are the “killers.”
This would lead to questions like:
“If you were to have your way and didn’t have to kill, be violent, or threaten violence how could we let you participate in a process that would be compelling?”
Do we all need to develop groups, friends, and political involvement in a way that is more a part of our lifestyle akin to eating, shelter, medical care, and civic mandatory responsibility? Yes, this is pointed at you and me to change our views of what it means to be alive in America today. Is it really a surprise that the lack of involvement on a mass level leads to conditions that support inequality and corruption? Can you really say that living your life in such an isolated way doesn’t contribute to the insanity we are experiencing?
A bit exaggerated but meaningful way to see this would be to imagine that we were Germans during the time Hitler was in his power and we were just being passive. Not only do we need to ‘wake up’ but we also need to ask — “What role can I play to make this better?”
Or if you believe you have to kill or force others into your belief or view, isn’t it clear to the sane majority that this is against the law, and will result in severe penalties and boundaries? All life has a right to live; enforcing this allows the murderous views to be separated from the genuine belief in superiority. Superiority can be tolerated, but killing and enforcing one’s views on another through brute force and violence cannot. The power of you and me needs to expand a hundredfold, which means that we need to all step it up as if our survival depends on it — because it does.
Starting with the left wing of the democratic party, the language that is used must express the need for democracy to be supported with all the non-violent methods and attitudes possible — the right-wing needs to do the same.
We need to ask where are equal rights least expressed in our country and how we as a people and nation can take steps to rectify this. This would include securing voting rights, fair housing, equalizing pay with skills, and giving everyone the right to shelter that is willing to work for it. As has been expressed in other articles through the means of modular housing and a multitude of trades including regenerative agriculture, this is viable for all healthy Americans.
It is not a dream. We have the ability to take care of all of us if we as Americans get involved.
For example, if we were to take the example of housing and work, our research and work have shown that affordable housing along with work in the form of regenerative agriculture can reduce or even completely eliminate homelessness. We’ve covered low-income housing and regenerative agriculture extensively in the past here.
We need to talk with everyone we know (in our families, our circles, our kids, and the youth) to contact our representatives and maximize listening to the underlying beliefs. No one can afford to be passive in this historic split in our nation and world. America’s influence on the world cannot be underestimated. We need to create a forum for this to be a genuine debate with the idea of looking for peaceful pragmatic solutions that are utterly viable. If there are people who believe their views give them the freedom to kill to enforce those beliefs, then clearly, the boundaries need to be set in alignment with a democracy that protects all people. We need to enforce the strength to stop those that are utilizing cyberspace to support killing, bigotry, and violence, and not just let our hatred or withdrawal make us part of the problem.
The people are the foundation of this country
All of us as a nation need to go beyond right and wrong and include how we speak and act. The speech must focus on what is needed, not on what we don’t like. The actions must remain non-violent unless it is truly in defense of our physical lives. This non-violence requires great strength in actions, words, and feelings. We mustn’t assume non-violence means passivity, as it requires profound courage and healthy power.
Too many people see the massive distortions or lies as things that have overtly occurred, making them angry and resulting in rigid positions, words, actions, and fiery emotions. This needs to be converted into healthy strength and I would suggest that you look at the articles, guided meditations, and podcasts on transforming anger into strength.
More than not, statements like “De-fund the police” or “Everything Trump does is a lie!” accomplish hatred and violence more than awareness and understanding. We must encourage the Far Left and the Right to speak with what is needed, not hate and distrust. If we can tolerate varying beliefs with so many different religions, we can tolerate the dialogue with Trump Republicans as long as it doesn’t involve violence. The key here is to recognize that tolerance isn’t ‘acceptance,’ and it is possible to live in peace as long as one side’s views don’t endanger the life and existence of others.
For example, the support for and against vaccines (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic) can show how we need to create solutions that work for both parties but sometimes that might not be possible.
In this situation, firmer boundaries with the vaccinated being allowed to go where the vaccinated go by their own choice, and the unvaccinated being given the freedom to do what they want in clear aspects of life, including travel, transport, business, etc. Accommodations can be made with rapid tests and PCRs when necessary to allow for chosen differences in views and boundaries that will make one group safe and the other given their freedom.
This could be done in restaurants, markets, businesses, travel, hotels, etc. Both groups would be able to live their reality without jeopardizing or having to have this endless power struggle. For example, if I were to own a restaurant, I would set the boundaries to increase the traffic from one group of the vaccinated and protected and set the limits as many have done.
If a broad agreement can’t be reached, then in some cases, it ideally needs to be set up that it will be voted on by a certain majority or more significant majority that will decide democratically. There are solutions to these wide gaps if everyone is willing to live with the consequences of their own freedom and not impose it on others. This is an area that would require a lot of definition and only would be needed if we again face an epidemic like Covid-19 that is truly life-threatening.
We can’t afford to threaten the large part of the people in our country who follow science by allowing the unvaccinated to be with those who have made choices to inoculate and protect themselves and their loved ones. In addition, if someone wants to choose their freedom and that makes the most sense to them then they have the right and naturally would be given their freedom to join those that have made the same choice.
There needs to be a focus on the practical issues from all ends of the democratic and the part of the Republican party that will support voting rights and a sane immigration policy. Voting rights have to be allowed by all citizens without partisan takeover through State decisions overriding the people. Immigration needs to have limits or a justice system that can control entry through the border. I urge you to read more in our whitepaper about comprehensive immigration reform.
Unless there is proof that the state or federal courts can verify publicly, everyone’s right to the foundation of democracy needs to be supported. This includes all the fundamental rights of equality, voting, opportunity, peaceful protest, respectful police, and the will of the people truly represented.
I am hoping you read this as a potential to be more alive, purposeful, and connected rather than misinterpret this as pressure or inducing guilt. We are being thrust into a time where we each have a full role to play to contribute at a time when our country and world are imperiled.
Above all, we need to see our own flaws in our attitudes, actions, and words that don’t support the constitution and do the work ourselves. For those with extra freedom, it is an inspiring opportunity to help this be implemented on a larger scale. Where do you stand, and are you doing the maximum potential to contribute to the principles now being threatened?