It is easy to exaggerate the positions/desires/morals of others.
It is easier, for example, for a liberal to dismiss conservatives as those who advocate solely for the wealthy, and who would gleefully take food out of the mouths of poor children. This allows the liberal to feel that his/her position is not only different, but demonstrably better.
The conservative can easily paint liberals as people who only want stuff that other people have rightfully earned, and who want nothing more than to turn this country into a third world dystopia. Makes it easier to prove how much better conservatism is.
I submit that the world is not so black and white, and that these wild exaggerated generalizations have only one purpose, and that’s to foster animosity, in the process helping to ensure a lack of cooperation that comes from a lack of respect.
This is being fostered by those in both parties, partly in order to “show their superiority” to the other party, but also to keep the masses fighting with one another to the point that the people in power can do what they want without our paying attention. It’s working.
We can ensure that it stops working, because that hurts our society by paralyzing it. But we have to step back and recognize that “the other side” has some merit, as well, and that we really aren’t as polarized as we might seem, if we only took the time to listen to one another.
It’s hard to do; the powers that be recognize that if you keep poking the hornets’ nest, you can keep the hornets angry. And an angry populace is just what they want. It takes a lot of self-control to ignore those poking at you, but it’s time to let them know that we will no longer be their pawns and can rise above the intentional animosity.
It’s that or civil war in our future. Choose wisely.