Friday, March 31, 2006

Meditations on ending the culture war

When the current regime in Washington finishes its collapse, those who put their faith in Bush and his team will feel profoundly hurt and disappointed. Bush's government is failing by being and doing exactly what his followers asked for. It is not his personal failure but the total failure in its own terms of the Christian right as a political force. I can not overstate just how painful and scary this failure is going to be for many of them. This disappointment will be deeper and more far reaching than anything liberals have known in my lifetime. How the rest of us respond will be critical.
If we treat them the way many of us feel they have treated us, we will earn yet another, probably even nastier round of cultural war. On the other hand, we can feel their pain and emphathize, we can open up to them as fellow human beings enough that we can see into the basic decency of their core desires - despite the indecency of some of how that has manifest.
A balanced diet requires many different foods in the appropriate portions. Even the best single food would be harmful if eaten to the exclusion of all other foods. Similarly, any human group, be it tribe or nation or planet, requires many different views, many different voices to function. Some of us will need to brandish the painful failure of the Bush experiment as a whip to silence his supporters. That is understandable. But we all need Bush's followers to give healthy expression to the parts of the puzzle that they hold. I hope that those of us who can, will empathize with them and welcome them into the dialog.


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