In recent years Americans have become increasingly vexed by the fierce polarization dividing the country. This division is taking root in the culture, sharply distinguishing “conservative” from “liberal” voices. Discussion rages on such issues as immigration, gun control, school choice, free speech, and access to abortion. Contentions in the cultural sphere drive a “right wing versus left wing” stand-off affecting a vast array of institutions and governmental processes.
But the convictions of most citizens do not align clearly with only one side — conservative or liberal, right or left. Instead, most perceive potentially viable ideas articulated from both points of view, while social consensus continues to perceive radical prescriptions from either extreme as toxic to the nation’s future.
Is it possible for a new, elevated perspective to emerge out of the left-right dichotomy? Do we agree on more than we want to admit? Has our democracy reached a level of maturity where we are willing to consider higher, more universal values?
Is there perhaps a framework that would allow us to synthesize the best ideas from both sides and fashion a new way forward?
How might such a framework facilitate a fresh look at today’s most troublesome issues — the Second Amendment, racism, border security, refugee policy; policing?
What might be the underlying philosophy and basic principles characterizing such a new perspective?
Please share your thoughts below