American culture is having a difficult time relating to one another simply because we happen to disagree with one another. Politics have managed to seep into too many aspects of day-to-day interactions. There is a healthy way to manage it, and there are those from both sides of the aisle that are working on changing just that. Neutralization of the deep rancor is certainly possible. Finding a decent solution should be considered an honorable quest. The results could mean a better foundation for aiding one another’s needs and goals.
What harmony could an atheist and an Orthodox Jew, or a classical Liberal and a Conservative, or a learned intellectual and an inquisitive novice, or a physics mathematician and a feminist find? Freedom -- freedom to think differently and exist simultaneously. They may disagree, but they cannot imagine living without enjoying one another just as they are. Try imagining Plato without Aristotle, or Freud without Jung, and so on. It sounds like a remissive tragedy. They are not enemies; they are respective colleagues. Now, imagine Democrats without Republicans. Some would consider that a victory when in reality it would be a gruesome defeat. They need each other more than they are willing to admit.
Influencers of both parties are verbalizing the inevitable change that needs to occur so that an inevitable horror is averted. The common goal to reduce damage is apparent, but by what means? Others should not have to suffer in order for another’s discomfort to be mitigated temporarily.
Republicans and Conservatives have a sound habit of quickly ostracizing truly unpalatable behavior within their own party. For the last three years, there has not been a better representation of shunning people who are open anti-Semites, racists, and sexual harassers. More than twenty current and potential lawmakers have either been forced to retire, resign, and/or are politically opposed by the Republican Party. This practice can be attributed to commentator William F. Buckley Jr. Any form that identity politics took, he confronted strategically with intellect, charisma, empathy, and mirth without restraint. America’s singular expression of freedom was exceptionally dear to him, that anyone who deigned to dismantle it had to be defused, instead of being made a polarizing villain. Buckley Jr. let individuals explain themselves even when they were agonizingly wrong.
Buckley Jr.’s flare has been reinstituted into culture by people like the late Andrew Brietbart, as well as Ben Shapiro, Steven Crowder, Andrew Klavan, and many others. Since 2004, the conservative movement has been on a trajectory of sustained self-correction. As of 2016, the Democratic Party and the intellectual left have only just initiated this journey. There is much to catch up to.
Free speech and autonomy have become growing concerns for the Democratic Party, and for good reason. They are consequently vilifying the most brilliant people in their camp. Those that they have propped up in science and education are being targeted alongside the Republican Party, and present-day Democrats and liberals are not standing for it. Alan Dershowitz, Eric Weinstein, Bret Weinstein, Christina Marie Hoff Sommers, Sam Harris, Jonathan Haidt, Camille Paglia, Dave Rubin, and many more are horrified by the turn the Democrat Party has taken. They are willing to do a decade of work to see the dominant parties treat each other better, and they have made it a mission to not leave the Democratic Party in order to clean it. The Democratic Party needs its own embodiment of Buckley Jr, and these influencers are aiming to do just that.
This manifestation will allow for the greatest reconciliation in our current culture, and I welcome it. Society is hungry for it. The Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots experience of politics will have a better outcome if it would choose to end. Common language and value are necessities. Disagreement should be tolerable and never discouraged. A new atmosphere is emerging where the hardest topics are dissected and distilled by those on either side of the aisle.
Thought leaders of both parties realize how hard the political pendulum can swing. They are both challenging one another in order for the pendulum to swing less combatively next time.
By: Rosemary Dewar