WENDY MAEDA/GLOBE STAFF
Abortion rights supporter and abortion protester face off in Massachusetts.

There is no question about it. America is divided far beyond it has ever been in the lifetime of anyone alive today. Much has been said about the divide, the need to heal, and that healing will not come from Washington. Now is the time to see how healing can begin; a healing whose absence was deemed by Intelligence officials as one of the greatest threats to America’s National Security.

So how do we start? Like in any relationship, for healing to take place, communication must be made possible. Americans are no longer able to communicate with one another. We find the opinions of those who disagree with us so unacceptable and offensive, that we no longer can communicate with them.

Some suggest a public sphere in which less political opinions and debates are surfaced, a recent Pew study finds most Americans being overwhelmed and discontent by the notion that free thinking should be stifled lest it offend others.

Furthermore, it would be UnAmerican to suggest that people abandon their political and religious beliefs or compromise what they hold dear to their heart for the sake of external demands. Freedom of speech and free thinking have been at the bedrock of our Nation since its very inception.

If we want to talk again to people who disagree with us, we need to understand where communication ran afoul. Communication started breaking down when, what Social Scientist Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute referred to in his 2016 TED talk as “Political Motive Asymmetry”, started running deep in American society. It is the phenomenon in which “A majority of people in our country today … believe that they are motivated by love, but the other side is motivated by hate. Think about it: Most people are walking around saying, you know, my ideology’s based on basic benevolence. I want to help people. But the other guys, they’re evil and out to get me.

So, what do we do? Here is, what we can do to make America communicate again, while not stifling free speech.

We need to be able to look each other in the eye, and talk. We must begin seeing our fellow Americans—as our fellow Americans. If we start assuming again that we are all on the same team of decent people trying to do what is best for our country.

What shut down the conversation is the assumption of malice on the part of those who disagree with us. and so, the only way back to talking again, is if we can talk to those who disagree with us, while still assuming they are good and decent people.

We can only return to have a functioning political discourse and civil interactions, if pro-lifers stop thinking of pro-choicers as baby-killers, and pro-choice individuals, of pro-lifers as people with disregard to women and wellbeing.

We can only begin to mend the tears if we can stop thinking of second Amendment supporters as people who don’t care about the loss of America lives, and of gun-law supporters as people who want to deprive us from our freedom, constitutional rights, and ability to protect our families.

America will only heal when BLM supporters can be sure not to think of those who oppose their movement as bigots and racists, and when those who oppose BLM no longer see BLM supporters as trying to underminelaw and order. When both sides recognize the good will of their political opponents, civil communication will resume.

America will begin to heal, when more republicans start seeing liberals and democrats as people who love and care for all of this country, and when an increasing number of democrats start seeing republicans as people who love humanity and want to advance the cause of human dignity and human rights.

No matter what party you support, we all agree that there is a breakdown in our society and that healing needs to come from the bottom up. Let’s be the ones to start healing America, by being the first ones to see the best in each other—even in our most fierce political opponents. We need to do it because we love our country, and we love humanity. Most importantly we need to this because we are all in this together. Let’s Make America Friends Again. God bless America.

Huffington Post Blogs, 03/01/2017

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