Overcoming party divide pushes toward solidarity

Derek Sutter and Derek Sutter

A pervasive mistrust between conservatives and liberals darkens every corner of American political discourse.

There is an enduring belief in both groups that the “other side” is either disgustingly ignorant.

If Americans granted a little more thought to the nature of their ideological differences, conservatives would no longer fear liberals and liberals would no longer fear conservatives.

Let us take one issue and examine the different positions pertaining to it in the light of thoughtfulness and reason.

The regulation of businesses is a simple yet controversial issue.

Liberals tend to favor an increase in government regulations of the market because of their concern for the consumer. They want the public to have more information on various products so they can more readily make the choices that are best for them.

Conservatives, on the other hand, voice concern about the costs of government regulations on businesses. They worry about inefficiencies and warn that too much burden on businesses will ultimately cause a decrease in the entire nation’s standard of living.

Is it so difficult to discover the common objective among liberals and conservatives? Both groups are struggling for the happiness of their fellow Americans. They merely have different views on the means that will best achieve that sacred end.

This rule holds true on every issue from health care to foreign policy, from abortion to monetary policy. The principle of American happiness remains the aim of both ideologies in all cases.

While this realization may not bring conservatives and liberals together on policy issues, it should create an environment for the rationale and considerate conversations America so desperately needs.

Compromise should also become easier. Cooperating with someone seen as fighting for the same cause occurs more naturally than conceding to someone seen as hostile to unassailable values.

In closing, I paraphrase Jefferson, who aimed prudent words toward harmony in a situation that appeared even more divided than America today.

A difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called persons of the same principle by different ideological names: liberal and conservative.

Yet, in a sense, we are all liberals and we are all conservatives. We are all committed to America’s happiness and well-being.

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