Conservatives are not evil, they just suck at expressing themselves
How ignorance of misaligned perceptions leads to antagonism and polarization
First of all, I should mention that in the context of American politics, I am apolitical. I disagree with what both parties represent, not to say anything about what they believe. But the fact that I even have to put this disclaimer here is telling of how polarized we are as a nation — if I didn’t say so, you’d immediately close the page, assuming I’m making a pro-conservative argument, which would be deemed wrong even before you knew what the argument was.
With that, let me begin:
The reason for the extreme polarization in this country is not because one party is more evil than the other. It’s because both parties are in different states of consciousness, and are therefore incapable of seeing eye to eye. They are each wearing different colored lenses, and see the world in different ways. There’s no way they will be able to agree, because the very nature of their perceptions are incompatible with each other.
As such, the arguments between the two parties has less to do the specifics of individual issues, and more to with what issues deserved to be argued in the first place.
Conservatives have a set of issues they think are more important than what liberals are talking about, and vice-versa. They never find any common ground, because they are arguing different points completely —e.g. one is arguing regulation is needed, while the other is arguing why we don’t need to argue whether or not regulation is needed, and not that it is not needed — and the failure to recognize this results in misunderstanding and resentment.
To use a real world scenario, let’s just look at the recent social movements in the US. I don’t think its reasonable to assume that all conservatives are racist and promote discrimination, yet they fight back against the anti-racist movement in a way which makes it seem like they don’t care about racial equality.
If the above statement triggers you, it’s because you’ve been living in a liberal bubble, and if it resonates with you, you’ve probably been in a conservative bubble. But I’m not here to justify the conservative side. Regardless of what your beliefs are on the issue, I disagree with you, because beliefs don’t matter. What matters is how we express them. Regardless of which side’s principles I personally agree with more… they are both equally pathetic at making a difference.
Conservatives, even if they do have a more pragmatic, rather than idealistic, viewpoint on certain issues, have an arrogant tendency so make things personal — they’d rather assert that they’re right rather than articulating their standpoint and making a reasonable argument. They insist on watering down their beliefs to fit into the single-dimensional, polarized debate, and usually end up making statements that are easily mocked and ridiculed because they go against liberals’ concept of goodness and morality.
And yes, I said concept, because that’s all it is. The reason the right uses the term “political correct” for everything the left considers “good” and “moral” means that there is a difference in perception. It’s not that the right insists on being evil and creating unfair or inequitable policy. It’s just that their definition of fair and equitable is different, and less obvious, than that of liberals. But rather than outlining their more nuanced perspective, say by writing an essay on why protesting on the streets for social equality is ineffective in actually bringing about the end goal of equality, they’d rather go out and protest that “all lives matter”. Doing so provides the left with a perfect opportunity mock them to no end, giving a face to the “opposition” and allowing their party to be characterized as not only evil, but stupid and insane.
Liberals, for their part, are eager to latch onto any social movement that makes them feel morally righteous, with little thought put into the actual, real-world effects of their movement and whether it is contributing towards the intended goals.
By now, the whole movement has turned into a big farce, to see who can say the most righteous thing regardless of whether they follow through or contribute to society in any meaningful way.
This is where the initial, potentially positive motivation for a social movement devolves into a political debate, and becomes completely ineffective. This is because, at its root, the movement comes from a place of negativity (“anti-racism”, rather than “pro-peace and harmony”); it’s sole purpose is to antagonize, rather than bring people together.
Think of an instance where someone got mad at you for something and started yelling at you. Did you immediately apologize and make a note to never do whatever it is you did again for the rest of your life? Regardless of whether what you did was right or wrong, chances are, you did not, and instead yelled back at the person, or silently cursed them and went about with your business.
Now expand this interaction to a national scale. Liberals are effectively yelling at everyone who they consider to be racist, calling them names, and saying they are bad people. And instead of taking note and changing their behavior on an individual level, people who disagree with the movement are getting angry, and fighting back. Now, instead of being a fight against racism, it becomes a fight between people who think “anti” protests are useful and those who don’t. It becomes a political debate rather than a moral one.
If we want things to get better in our country, we are going to have to focus on outcomes and actions, not just talk. Calling all conservatives racist and white supremacists does not make those who are become any less so — it makes them want to substantiate their view as a party, leaving the race issue addressed. On the same token, calling liberals names and insulting their efforts simply increases the antagonism by equal measure.
As a nation, we need to be less divided, not find more reasons to divide. We need to think through our arguments and the outcomes of our actions, and not blindly defend our ideological stances because our party told us they were right. We need to create space for dialogue about our beliefs, rather than deeming certain beliefs conclusively good or bad. This entails improving ourselves at the spiritual level; raising our consciousness so that these problems don’t need to be argued in the first place.
Politics is merely attempt at describing the truth, but it’s not actually the truth — the only truth is perception, and perception is different for every individual. By becoming more compassionate and empathetic, we will come to a natural state of acceptance with that fact, and not try to impose our views on the entire world. Only then, will we start to heal, and become something vaguely resembling a “united” nation once again.