Guest contributors run the gamut, but they all pretty much rock.
*Originally published on 10/29/16*
MAGA, #NeverTrump; Welcome to America! Now, compromise or be governed!
“I do not share your view, but I respect it.”
This is a simple principle, yet so easy to get wrong.
Why has it come to the result where we must agree on every last point in an ideological platform to be political allies?
What has become of the Republican Big Tent?
It would be easy to write this essay in a manner that hands out blame. There is certainly more than enough to go around. Instead, maybe we should think about this new (or maybe not new) overbearing need to force or shame or cajole everyone into thinking the exact same way before we can move on and be countrymen or *gasp* “friends”?
Consider for a moment the how media informs us, what we take away from it, and the sheer volume we are fed. In an era where one can order a pizza by text message, the virtues of patience and compassion lose some of their meaning. Such a world is probably not conducive to a very polite society.
We want what we want – when we want it – and if we don’t get it, expect to see Tumblr posts!
Human Beings, as social creatures, strive to conform. In doing so we become tribal and, resources being inherently limited, territorial. It’s not difficult to see what happens when the domains of Human Nature cross with those mass-social media platforms that are driven by user-contributed content.
Everyone with an idea is free to shout at the clouds and claim s/he’s right about everything.
“If I’m right, then you must be wrong.”
“If I’m -X- and you don’t agree on <random principle> then you must be -Y- with all its Republic-Threatening vices. I must, therefore, shame you into seeing the rightness of being -X- about <random principle> before there is anything else to discuss. #Block.”
This ties into current events in that, almost half the population in this country have become so focused on being Not Obama, that it is the only area of agreement. Moreover isn’t this the type of ideological fascism that makes the idea of being Progressive insufferable? Isn’t it what rubs conservatives the wrong way the most? Why, on Earth, are we victimizing ourselves and one another over this simple fallacy?!
Conservatives/Republicans have locked themselves out of the Office of The Presidency for the foreseeable future over this kind of weak thinking. They have become so fixated on not compromising with Democrats, that the word “compromise” has become an allergen, and so much so, they have lost the ability to compromise with one another.
It must stop. Instead of shunning compromise, it would be better to try and win agreements.
There are two main parties in the United States. That is our political system. Our Founders, in their wisdom (or folly), saw the dangers of factionalized politics. Those systems devolve into either the chaos of a Failed State or the tyranny that is the inevitable result of over-correcting the causes of said failure. And we are already witnessing whiffs of these sorts in Government overreach into our personal lives. When before 2009 were you required to buy something to be an American Citizen? When before 2012 were you required to provide a service that was against your religion?
Do not say “it can’t happen here!”
Democrats learned ten years ago that American politics is a team game. Despite record minorities in Congress they have embedded most of the Democrat agenda. They did it by sticking together. Having a leader they could unite behind was a key factor.
The mistake Republicans have made is to become so focused on finding that uniting figure that they forgot about the actual “uniting” part.
It’s time to compromise with one another with what’s available. This election or the next and all the ones after.
You may not agree that Donald Trump is that figure. (I don’t think he is either.) But I have many other well-considered reasons for voting for him that are external to his being the GOP’s nominee. I’ve made peace with trying to unite with others voting for him, flawed as he is.
You may not agree with my reasons. I accept that and still wish to remain your compatriot.
I don’t share your view, but I respect it.
I will not blame you for the loss, should Trump lose.
I ask instead that you let this simple principle of respect for another person’s viewpoints be the seed that blooms into the compromises we must make the next time we meet to decide our politics.
The risk of a One-Party State is elevated, and this is the only way to prevent it from becoming imminent.