American Reconciliation Program
America needs a substantial change in the relationship between its citizens. We need especially to see a vast improvement in understanding between rural and urban Americans, between those who are immersed in a world of multiple cultures, races and religions, and those who are in worlds that are primarily Christian, rural, Protestant and white. The lack of connection and compassionate and reasonable communication between these two American worlds has been utilized by political forces in search of wedge issues to divide, to drive people to polls out of anger and fear. The era of identity politics of all kinds, including white nationalist identity, has reached a fever pitch that needs to be reversed if we are to preserve and improve upon the foundational principles and ethical values of American democracy.
We need this change in relationship for the sake of the future of our country, for the sake of the improvement of and discovery of our common values. We need a new way of dealing with our serious disagreements, an approach that is sincere and that honestly cherishes all citizens of the country. That is what the founding fathers intended when they built the foundational documents of the country, “in order to form a more perfect union.” That dream of a more perfect union has worked out better or worse at various moments of our history and places of our engagement. There exists a series of moral and political failings at this point. There is far too much judgmental behavior, unkindness, and lack of respect, standing in the way of that more perfect union.
At least part of the reason for that is that we have not understood the true source of good relations between those who are different. We have tended to emphasize methods of conflict resolution that are overly intellectual, and debate-oriented.