Is it possible to reach across the enormous political divide that we now experience in this country? And if so, how?
The holidays are a perfect time to ask this question. People want and need hope, that people of different viewpoints can at least listen to each other and a divided nation can be healed.
One reason for the divide is the divider-in-chief, Mr. T. A president carries enormous political and archetypal power. I wrote a piece a few months ago about how he infects all of us in ways that mirror an attack of malware on a computer. Except malware bytes do not protect us from him. Both those who agree and those who disagree with him are infected. We might feel a wrongness at the center, and wary, that our level of trust has been assaulted. Many of us feel tremendous anger; many are anxious and worried. And, of course, there are good, rational reasons to be worried.
Programs to reach across the divide have been created and shown results. When people become familiar, on a basic, human level, with those they are supposed to hate, the walls come tumbling down.
Two friends enlightened me about an NPR Here & Now program. It told the story of how a group of people in Massachusetts reached out across the political divide to a coal-country town in Kentucky, and a meeting was planned. Much preparation preceded the meeting, skype, emails and phone calls. The people in Kentucky had to find out that they would be heard and accepted. They feared the people from the northeast would be angry at them for voting for T. Both groups thought they would be stereotyped by the other group….
**To read the entire post, please click on this link to the Good Men Project, which published it.