The seething anger between Americans frightens me. Pundits are saying we are as polarized as Americans before the Civil War.
What would happen if we did something more radical than resist? Instead of staying with easy outrage, what if we mined for common ground? I’m not sure the powers that be want us to find it, so let’s resist them.
How? Remember we are more than our politics.
Pick who you want to talk with.
Facebook arguments take up emotion and brain space. They enflame our outrage. But with people in person, perhaps we can dig below the outrage and find ways to work together.
Be open to what they say.
See if you can get to their story behind their opinion. Don’t try to change their mind.
Recognize your feelings.
Look them in the eye.
Ask more questions.
Share your perspectives.
If there is something you agree with, say so. Try to build on that common ground.
When I have talked to my progressive friends about something as divisive as immigration, we come away agreeing that we just want Congress to fix it. We don’t care how, but something fair, bipartisan. What if we wrote Congress, asking them to start working together? Could they resist a barrage of letters?
Senator Dick Durbin has said Congress has been working together, “We've been doing things, like the opioid bill and the federal FAA reauthorization bill…We need to…roll up our sleeves. Be bipartisan. Show that we can work together and restore some confidence in this body.”
I’m Katie Andraski and that’s my perspective.