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The political divide does not require us to demonize

MEDIUM, 09 / 02 / 2018

We don’t have to demonize each other, just because we vehemently disagree with one another.

I have never felt universal hatred for Americans who support this President. I’ve felt anger, shock, confusion, sadness, but never hatred.

And I’m not being patronizing. If anything, I’ve strived harder to try to better understand people who support a person who disgusts me on a daily basis.

This is one of the lessons of John McCain’s life. You can fight hard for or against ideas and ideals, but it’s never a good thing to make sweeping generalizations and let differences get in the way of areas where we can agree and make progress.

F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

I would say that this is more of a much-needed principle that all of us should aspire to demonstrate.

Fight hard. Spare no quarter. Politics represents the ultimate competition of ideas. It’s rough and campaigns can get ugly.

But we must never lose sight of what Senator McCain told us repeatedly:

“We have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country we will get through these challenging times.”