In our marriage of 40-plus years, my spouse and I have had disagreements on important matters like religion, politics, parenting and money. In our disagreements there is a sense of unity, love and respect. Our ultimate goal is to be true to each other and to have a strong union.
We respect each other’s opinions when they are different from our own. We work to understand. As I look at the polarization in our country, it seems that the missing piece is a desire for a strong union and learning from our differences. We don’t listen with a desire to understand and respect each other. We want our “tribe” to win rather than our country.
Our Republican tribalism is evident in recent comments that Mitt Romney is a “RINO,” or a Democrat, because he had an opinion that didn’t support the majority of the opinions in our tribe. There are those who would oust him from our tribe rather than try to understand his perspective.
Instead of listening to top Trump election security officials, many fought and were willing to hang Mike Pence rather than hear him. Leaders in our state, who had access to the facts, exacerbated the lie. They risk their standing in the tribe by telling the truth. Instead of sharing facts, they respond to what the tribe wants to hear.
Like a strong marriage where both parties experience growth and strength based on respectful discussion and exploration of different points of view — always with the end goal of a strong union — I hope we will find a way to talk things out respectfully with the same goal. We must be a union of people who see things differently and maybe even see shades of purple (a little blue and a little red).