Stop demonizing the other side

Published 4:03 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2020

To the Editor:

As near as I can tell, if we keep demonizing each other we will be in a sad state of affairs for a pretty long time. I recently had the experience of viewing a “member of the opposition’s” way of seeing things. It was exactly what she had said it was without any of the nefarious motives my side likes to attribute. Some of the concerns were based on misunderstandings of the other side and most of the concerns had grown out of a lifetime of experience that was completely different from mine. It was a clear path without any badly muddy places.

I thought, “Oh my God!” This is nothing like what I was led to believe I would find in the mind of someone who had voted differently than I in this last election. It has rearranged my whole thinking. I am wondering how we can begin to interact as we really are as opposed to some image of each other that we have taken on from the outside. I am looking for ways of having contact with people who think differently than I, so we can begin to work on the challenges that face us.

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I remember reading in an “Evolutionary Psychology” section of a textbook about how a population needs a broad spectrum of members to survive. Having every member be the same weakens the population. I kept thinking of lemmings running off the cliff, the creatures who were so cautious they rarely ventured out, or the creatures so excited by exploration that the home front was left wanting. Many skills, ways of doing things and/or thinking about things are useful, even if they have become more difficult to see and hear.

By Jo Weaver