In the interest of full disclosure, these are the opinions of a conservative. From where I stand, I believe our nation is at a turning point. It will either lead to unity or a wider divide. If you ignore the radicals on both the left and the right, there are still 2 very distinct political views in America. The most recent presidential election is the perfect example of how divided our country is. The divide comes from the fact that people tend to have very strong beliefs that aren’t easily changed. These are fundamental beliefs. By definition, this means that these beliefs are the principles that people base their lives on. Conservatives tend to focus on small government, personal responsibility, and traditional family values. Liberals usually concern themselves more with social issues, progressivism, and globalist ideas. If you’re curious about where you fall on the spectrum, this quiz is helpful. So, can the left and right co-exist peacefully?
How times have changed
The left has previously been thought of as the more tolerant side. This is a true statement when it comes to some ideas, especially social justice. But they seem to struggle when it comes to tolerating people who believe differently. Riots, looting, and violence are direct evidence of how some liberal groups treat those who think differently than they do. These unprovoked attacks on individuals, groups, and businesses do nothing but widen the divide. Conservatives have turned into the “tolerant” side. We may disagree with something you believe or do. But, more often than not we understand you have the right to those beliefs. The United States was founded on the principle of free thought. Those on the left should understand that disagreement does not equal hate. As conservatives, we can hate the idea without hating the person who believes in it.
Why the sides may never come together
Extreme differences in fundamental beliefs cause a lot of division. One of the most controversial topics that tend to divide conservatives and liberals is abortion. I’m not here to debate the issue. But rather to explain the conservative viewpoint and why it’s unlikely to change. Most conservatives believe life begins at conception. So the thought of a mother ending the life of her child is horrific. It’s no longer a woman’s choice to make for her body when another living being is involved. To most conservatives, that “mass of cells” is already a baby, even if it can’t survive outside the mother’s body. So, while the left sees abortion as a woman making a choice for her body, the right sees the murder of an innocent child. This is just one of many issues where polar opposite beliefs lead to no middle ground.
Can the left and right co-exist? At this point, it doesn’t look promising. Moving forward, it’s essential for the left to see that just because conservatives disagree with them, doesn’t mean they are wrong. People grow up in different environments and have different life experiences. This shapes the way they believe and the way they see right and wrong. As a conservative, I may disagree with a lot of things and ideas that those on the left believe in. But, I support their inherent right to have those beliefs. I may think they are deplorable, but I acknowledge that our country was founded on the free exchange of ideas. Maybe a little more acceptance from the “tolerant left” would go a long way in narrowing the division in our country.