I believe the bifurcation of our society into uncompromising binaries is far more dangerous than any person, platform, or party.
It's very easy to react to the present political race with reflexive, universal, and immediate dismissal of the candidate(s) we oppose. And it is just as easy to find justifications and defenses of the candidates we support against all criticism.
True open mindedness demands more than criticising the people we like. We have to also find points of agreement with those whom we detest.
These inclinations are not evidence of our use of critical, rational thought. If anything, research into human cognition suggests our rationality is more often used to find justifications for our beliefs after the fact. This pattern of behavior is seen in all humans, regardless of their ideological inclinations.
If you're still reading this, give yourself this test. Find at least one statement or policy of the candidates you oppose that you can endorse. Do not fall for the trap of thinking that criticism of your preferred candidate is just as valid here. The only way out of destructive binary opposition is to find areas of agreement with those whom we oppose. This is how respect and trust can be built up with them and/or their partisans. This is the beginning of synthesis.
Any critique I make of a candidate is all the more forceful for my being able to see at least one thing about him or her I can agree with. True open mindedness demands more than criticising the people we like. We have to also find points of agreement with those whom we detest.
Lessons learned from my advocacy & the "Plywood" model
February 2, 2017
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