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Understanding the Right Even if We Don't Agree with Them

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Dean Powers     Permalink
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Political arguments often wind up setting people off. Temper tantrums and poor behavior are the hallmarks of these childish debates and the conflict is never resolved. It's simply two sides pointing fingers at each other.

While I lean progressive, both sides of the argument have valid points. If we just put some effort into understanding the other side of the debate and finding places to agree, we will find the reward is in greater unity which is paramount for survival. Democrats will also find they attract more voters if they can make a pitch toward the other side.
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The main point that the right wing tries to make is that there are two Americas: one is red one is blue. Red America works on cars and hunts and shops at Walmart. Blue America lives in the city and drives Volvos and reads the New York Times. The right wing asserts that they stand up for Red America. Their narrative is borne out by statistics that Ken Mehlman cited showing consumer preferences and political party affiliation are linked.

In my experience, liberals who do live in the city are loathe to consider the plight of rural Americans because they are mostly white and intolerant, or so they are portrayed. And given that many of these same liberals are afraid of moving outside their comfort zone and interacting with rural Americans, the portrayal becomes the reality.

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This has to change. City liberals have to acknowledge that they are inferior to rural rednecks when it comes to fixing a car or building a home or plumbing. City liberals do however possess a historical reference point for their perspective on human governance. They have read about the Roman Empire and see how we can avoid mistakes that other humans have made in the past. This is why they make for leaders.

Leadership cannot overlook the plight and consumer preferences of rural Americans. We have to agree with Mike Huckabee's intent when he talks about Bubbaville even if we don't wish it to be true. We have to see that there are well-intentioned humans on both sides of the political debate who are trying to be heard. They have deep instinctive reasons for getting involved in politics and staking out a position on their side of the isle. We have to recognize this and make the effort to understand what they are trying to get across before we dismiss it and focus on the "plight of gays" or the environment.

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Dean Powers lives in Castleton, VT. He has apprenticed at several newspapers including The Nation. He currently writes for OpEdNews. He can be found at facebook.com/deanppowers.


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