The Search For Truth Will Unite Us
Instead of hating people with different viewpoints than ours, let’s come together and dialogue about the common good. In dialoguing, our opinions matter only in as much as they conform to the truth.
It is easy to have an opinion on a certain issue; everyone has an opinion just like how everyone these days has an iPhone. We are constantly told to ‘respect all opinions.’ But why? Why should a Democrat respect a Republican’s opinion if the Republican’s opinion is wrong? Or similarly, why should a Republican respect a Democrat’s opinion if the Democrat’s opinion is wrong? Obviously then, not all opinions are worth respecting.
On the other hand, People are always worthy of respect. This is what we as a society are lacking; we fail to respect others. Republicans and Democrats can never be friends nor even get along if such respect for each other does not exist. Respecting a person means to love that person. It means to want what is good for that person and to uphold his or her dignity.
We as a society cannot start wanting what’s good for others if we don’t have the common good in view. Modernity has attempted to destroy the common good by saying that what is good for everyone and every society is merely subjective. Our society has accepted this view, but I don’t think we fully understand the repercussions of such a view. Should we say that to Hitler, what he did was good? Can we only personally disagree with Hitler’s view of the Jews, since who are we to impose our opinion on others? Of course not. But if we are to disagree with someone like Hitler and his actions, we must have a standard by which we do so. This standard cannot be something subjective, but objective, like the common good.
Since the common good is the aim of all politics, and a body politic which does not aim towards the common good fails to be a good society, it would be best if Republicans and Democrats converse about what is the common good, and what leads to a flourishing society. Both parties can have their opinions on the issue, but neither party’s opinion will matter if what they believe is not true. This doesn’t mean that the person who is wrong does not matter, but only that their opinion does not matter. You are not your opinion.
Conversing about the common good allows Democrats and Republicans to have better and stronger friendships with each other. For example, a Democrat might disagree with a Republican because he or she thinks that the Republican is wrong about an issue. But, since the common good is the aim of society, the Democrat would disagree not out of hatred for the Republican, but because the Democrat wants the Republican to flourish. This means that the Democrat would want what is best for the Republican, and similarly, the Republican would want what is best for the Democrat.
Caring for the other leads to a strong foundation for friendship with the other, since friends want what is best for each other. So instead of judging the character of someone based solely upon that person’s political party get to know the person. Have conversations with him or her. Love that person by wanting what is best for him or her. Such love will lower both parties’ guards down, allowing for Republicans and Democrats to have fruitful conversations that all lead to our society’s flourishment.
Melanie Moyer '22,