Are You a Democrat or a Republican?
Republicans are fascists.
Democrats are communists.
Conservatives are racists who don’t want to help anyone except themselves.
Liberals are racists who think they’re helping everyone but hurting them instead.
So what’s it gonna be? Are you Fox News or MSNBC?
Wait. This is America! The land of opportunity! Not the land of either or. It’s like on Shark Tank — There’s got to be a better way! Isn’t that what inspired America in the first place? The passion and innovation of “We the People, in order to form a more perfect union…”
The Un-united States of Ignore-ance
Instead of considering the other side, we mock, belittle, dismiss, or ignore it. Ignoring, or worse, yelling at or criticizing people who do not agree with you does not result in prosperity, it only helps to strengthen the echo chambers, where everyone who already agrees with each other congratulates themselves on being right (or left).
Ignoring the validity of the other side does not negate the fact that the side and its validity do, in fact, exist. This state of Ignore-ance is not how we will form a more perfect union.
Our Common Enemy
If we would give talking, listening, and acknowledging the other side a chance, we would soon discover that both sides, Right and Left, have a common enemy! That sneaky little bitch, cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive dissonance subconsciously controls our methods for seeking out and absorbing information. Our brains are naturally inclined to avoid the discomfort of guilt, shame, or even doubt in our own decisions and beliefs. We rationalize the superiority of our preference by selecting like-minded companions and following media sources that confirm our pre-established dispositions.
When confronted with evidence of contradicting beliefs, we turn away. We surrender to the “facts” of the clickbait headline. We reject ideas as impossible or wrong without ever hearing the story or reading the article. This is science.
I was in an Inter-Political Relationship
I could not block, hide, or unfollow the parts of him that I disagreed with or didn’t understand. Our conversations forced me to acknowledge a different point of view that I had previously brushed off as wrong. Because I loved him, I listened. And he listened to me.
Yes, it would be easier to date someone with whom I always agree. But then cognitive dissonance wins. And I remain close-minded and weak because my human psyche chose fear over diving heart first into a more complete understanding of the world.
Love is Our Superpower
Breaking through cognitive dissonance is hard to do. But, when you love someone, you listen respectfully. You hear and consider what they say in ways you wouldn’t for anyone else. You (pl.) work toward innovative solutions that are considerate of the legitimate concerns on both sides.
They Don’t Love You
We must begin to recognize the role of big tech and mainstream media in perpetuating our cognitive dissonance by insistently blaming, criticizing, and inciting fear and hatred toward the other side. Genuine conversations between people who respect each other but disagree about politics will help to disarm the cognitive dissonance inflicted upon us via echo algorithms and TV programming.
How to Form a More Perfect Union
Only by forming a more perfect union between Americans will we win against cognitive dissonance. We are not tribes, parties, identities, or enemies. We are people who love each other having respectful conversations about tough stuff.