There’s some interesting research out there that should give us all pause. To put it in laymen’s terms: Our friends in academia have found that most Democrats and Republicans actually have similar views on lots of issues. Yep, turns out most of us, regardless of party affiliation, want far more affordable health care, a non-warming environment and money out of politics.
Where we go off the rails is when we’re asked what we think about the proposals being put forth by the other side. It seems Dems hate everything Republican and vice versa no matter the context, and it’s this blinding partisanship that is choking off our democracy.
On the Republican side of things, the result of universal Dem hatred is easy to spot. It even has a name, Trump. Seriously, 93 percent of Republicans tell pollsters they support Trump, but I don’t know a single Republican who respects the man. It seems the reason so many Republicans support Trump is largely because he makes Democrats absolutely crazy.
Worse still in my book, Dem-hate has led many evangelical Christians to abandon their claimed values, replacing them with blind support for our racist, philandering, narcissist president who has actually claimed he has never asked for forgiveness because he has never done anything that needed forgiving.
Biblically speaking, this nonsensical claim by Trump effectively has him boasting that he is the equal of Jesus Christ, which you would think would make evangelicals a bit uncomfortable. But instead of being repulsed by all that is Trump, they simply point to his stacking of the U.S. Supreme Court with pro-life judges as justification for their undeserved allegiance. Sort of makes you wonder if they’d vote for Satan if he campaigned against abortion on Fox News.
Or, to take it one step further, does allegiance to the deviant Trump in exchange for his judicial appointees transform the abortion issue into a false idol for many Trump-supporting Christians?
Look, I understand theology gets complicated and folks have to work out their own beliefs on such matters. All I’m suggesting is that you don’t let your anger for the haters who mock your faith, without really understanding it, turn you into the religious caricatures they already assume you to be. If you’re using Trump to get even with those who’ve told you that you and your religion are silly and weak, then you’re making your critics look way smarter and more accurate than they deserve. Think about that.
And what about all you Republican haters out there, would you turn down a low-cost health care system for everyone if it was Trump’s idea. Be honest now. Can’t you just see House Speaker Nancy Pelosi whipping Dems to “not give Trump a victory” at any cost before the 2020 elections.
Think I’m being unfair? Here’s a couple of recent real-life examples. Pelosi and the establishment Dems are doing everything they can to prevent impeachment hearings despite the fact that more than 1,000 career prosecutors who’ve read the Muller report say President Trump obstructed justice and should be held accountable. The Dem’s reasoning? Impeachment might make winning in 2020 more difficult. That’s right, beating the hated Republicans come election time is far more important than governing.
Heck, the speaker was even out there just this week whipping the progressive caucus of her own party to make sure they passed a border funding bill that she says, “Trump wants to see fail.” Apparently, the progressive caucuses crime against Pelosi’s wing of the party was in trying to add language to the bill that would have created consequences should the abuse of immigrant children at our border continue. The speaker was clearly more concerned about not giving the Republicans a win.
How did we get to this place where trying to save children is now the purview of only the most progressive among us? The answer is hate.
All of us, including every member of Congress should be more concerned about the treatment of defenseless children than the politics of defeating those on the other side of the isle. And the research says that most of us do share this view and many others.
We just have to find a way to pull back from our 30 years of ongoing hatred for the other side, a hatred that blinds us to the destructive nature of our actions. Sadly, it won’t be easy in this world of competing parties, competing cable stations and competing websites all designed to sew anger and distrust of the “other side.”
It is this partisan hatred that is making us too stupid to live in — or even deserve to live in — a democracy.
Our politics can’t just be about hurting the other side. It’s not sustainable. We have to stop hating and start talking to each other again before it’s too late.
This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.