Before I begin, I just want to clear up a few points. I do believe character counts in leaders, especially as it sets the tenor and tone for others to follow. I criticized Clinton’s character, not because of his philandering but because his lying set into the America psyche that truth is optional. I attack Bush’s character not because he was personally wanton, but because he took America to war without the moral courage to say no to evil profiteers. Obama’s character I questioned for multiple hypocrisies. And yes Trump, for whom I have little respect as a person … I charge him for lack of character as a narcissist, his arrogance, his grandiose, his nepotism, and his constant haranguing of detractors. I believe that we have had foul leaders in this country for the last 29 years. Mr. Trump is simply the latest incarnation of it … I believe that the GOP could have made a better choice, but Cruz or Paul would not have won the general election.
The country is so polarized that it is difficult to see how we can get beyond this. The air of division has permeated almost every corner of society and has caused constant hurt and division. It has become so difficult to discuss affairs of the world outside the community of the like-minded that we go out of our way to avoid it. Some families that must interact have decided that it is too toxic to even mention and thus maintain peace.
I think politics is too important to remain eternally divided. It is too important for our children’s future and it is too important for us. We face daunting challenges that we need to think through for our very survival. In your lifetime you will see technology alter what seems to be so constant today; robots will alter our lives in ways we cannot conceive while energy constraints will choke progress and this may be the best case as we could succumb to an economic dystopia. If we remain polarized we will not be able to solve the real important problems of the future. But for now we live in a luxurious time where we can debate mole hills that seem like mountains.
To me, our position on issues is not as important as how we argue the merits of those positions. This is true in both a personal context (you vs. me) as well as in a global sense (Republican vs. Democrat). The current methods we (and they) use will never bring agreement because there is no superstructure on to which we can place facts that will lead to agreed answers. There is nothing that you can say that will make me love you any less and I believe that is true of you also. Yet, each discussion results in little agreement because there is no structure onto which facts and logical arguments can be affixed and observed by or refuted by opposing views.
As I have always believed we can make substantial progress toward wisdom with a methodology and structure that seeks accord through the arguments of those with whom we disagree. Obviously, we will not agree on all things, but understanding will be improved on both sides if each considers the facts and logic of the other. I also think the process of doing this would be very instructive. I know that you don’t have the time to dedicate to such an esoteric endeavor but you do have 150 young minds who probably think much like you and who might be up for such a challenge. We all live in echo chambers of our choice and learn only that which Echo-Leader allows. Lend an ear to the other side and we might just end up learning something.