America is divided, and it is divided along hard lines. There are hyper-partisan people on the Left, and there are hyper-partisan people on the Right.
There is something missing when it comes to political discourse in this country as it seems as though people are talking at one another rather than to one another.
This creates a sort of “team sports” arena of politics in which each side faithfully supports their “players” over the opposition. Much of this has to do with the way in which the journalism industry works. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that it has to do with the way in which the journalism industry does not work.
President Trump, for example, signed a historic Middle East peace agreement that should still be talked about to this day. However, it received little coverage because the Mainstream Media rarely publishes stories that are flattering to the 45th president. When they do, networks like CNN will not focus on the peace agreement, but will instead focus on how little social distancing was done at the signing.
Social media has also contributed to the division in America. Most platforms offer the ability to “block” other users from seeing or responding to your content. This feature is often times used to block people with differing opinions. The end result is that many social media users are completely unaware of what the other side is even thinking. They live in echo-chambers where their own opinions and beliefs, whether good or bad, are parroted back to them and their ideas are never challenged.
All of this is to say that politics today is missing something that, if it were added, would change the political landscape forever.
Take a look at this 2017 clip of Ben Shapiro responding to a question about Atheism and see if you can spot what it is.
Did you see it?
Before launching into the reasons why he thought he was right and why he thought the man asking the question was wrong, Shapiro reached out to learn more about the man’s ideas. He wanted to understand the position from which the man was coming from.
Only after completely understanding the issue, from his own perspective and from the perspective of the one asking the question, does Shapiro provide an answer.
This is the way that political discourse should happen. If everyone reached out to try to understand, at least to an extent, why the other side believes what they do, it might open up the possibility to break down those seemingly insurmountable hyper-partisan walls.