Brain dead Democrats and Heart Dead Republican or Heart Dead Republicans & Brain dead Democrats
Brain dead Democrats and heart dead Republicans.
I have figured out that is what is the sum total of all the stuff that we hear and see. Both sides attacking the competence and character of the other side. One side believes that the other side is just empty headed and is unable to understand economic theory (Matthew 5:22). On the other side the problem is simply a lack of compassion and human care.
It is hard to have a civil discussion when at heart we interpret the other side in such absolute negative ways. It is hard to learn, discuss, or seek common answers when the other side is so devoid of any human virtues or intelligence.
What if we grant that adults have the right to disagree? That both Democrats and Republicans have brains and can use them. Then we could sit down calmly and carefully comparing the REASONS for the different ideas and see where there is COMMON GROUND. We would see that our arguments for the most part on these issues is inductive and not deductive and therefore has strengths and weakness. Our position is "probable" and not absolute in nature. It is even possible that by combining two positions we could produce a stronger third alternative that would be more satisfying than either of the most extreme positions we might have begun taking.
What if we granted that both Republicans and Democrats have hearts and can use them? What if we see that both can be compassionate and kind by God's great grace. Then we could sit down and calmly listen to the passion and cares each has for people they see suffering and how they hope their approach will relieve that suffering. We can compare the concern, hopes, and prayers we each have for a better world. As we opened ourselves to the idea that our opponents were not for the most part "monsters" but people made in God's image and worthy of respect because of that (even when they deny that they are made in God's image).
Now I am not naive. There are "wolfs that walk on two legs" as Plato described them. Human beings who have become predators, manipulators, and are only after personal power and control. Messiah Jesus described them as "wolves in sheep clothing".
They have little virtue left.
But such people who are still made in God's image but who have become twisted and committed self consciously to evil can be found in every political party, religious group, and human community. They don't have a particular creed but will distort any creed for evil. This is not saying that all "creeds" are equal but just that even the best "creed" can be used by evil people for evil purposes. I have a very strong commitment to the truthfulness of my personal Christian creed but I know it has been distorted and used for evil at times in history.
Our nation needs to become one that is seeking wisdom concerning public affairs and approaches this search in a sane, stable, and spiritual manner. This would mean we would be seeking to think carefully about the problems and with humility listen to those who oppose us not thinking that they have nothing to add to the discussion. We would not use extreme and inaccurate language and forgive each other when we did.
Our aim would be to peace makers and the focus would be on finding practical solutions that would have wide spread support from people who had been educated in a calm and respectful exchange of ideas. We would move from propaganda where we "attack people" and set up "straw man" arguments we can knock down to a real dialogue on important ideas. Out of this dialogue perhaps by the grace of God we might find some real solutions to our real problems.
The problems we face as a nation are very complex and challenging. They require the best from us. If our focus is on fighting each other for control of the ship while no one steers the ship around the icebergs that may be the greatest danger we face. It might be good to remember we are all on the same ship.