Your fellow Americans need you here. Not to argue with us. Not to take us to court. Not to crucify us in the court of public opinion. Not even to write negative comments about us on social media or all over the internet. No, we would like you here to be patient with us. Teach us how your viewpoints are more true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. We would like you here to be kind to us. So, please enlighten us with your perspectives without any anger or name calling and we will do the same with you. Please don’t envy us, for there is nothing to envy. We are all in the same boat, the American boat, the human race. Whatever we possess is fleeting, including the idea that we are not diverse individuals with unique feelings, thoughts, and life experiences, but part of a homogeneous group with homogeneous viewpoints.
We need you here not to boast of your superior morality. Indeed, calling your fellow Americans sexist, racist, homophobic, hypocritical, fundamentalist, ignorant, misogynistic xenophobes suggest that somehow you are on the superior side of these controversies. In fact, you come across at times as proud of where you stand on these social issues. Many of us feel dishonored by you, but please stay to connect with us. We know that you do not mean to be self seeking. Even though you seem easily angered, and perhaps you’ve kept records of our wrongs, we believe that you are just like us. You do not delight in evil, but rejoice in the truth. So, let’s talk about that—the truth.
As your fellow Americans we want to be protected, to live in safety and not in fear of terrorism or crimes. We want to have mutual trust in our neighbors when we go to the office, the grocery store, or the mall. Stay, and hope with us for a more harmonious, loving, peaceful, prosperous society. Let’s persevere together as fellow Americans. Get to know us outside the anonymity of the internet. Talk with us face to face at the office water cooler, the park, or the kids’ basketball games. This will cut back on the verbal assaults, on the assumptions, generalizations, marginalizations, minimizations, or dismissal of our humanity.
We feel deeply, like you do.We think much about the consequences of these political stance and policies, like you do. We know that you feel great compassion for “the least of these” and that is your passionate rallying cry. But, how do you know that we do not identify with the least of these? Or that we don’t demonstrate the same compassion? How can you be sure that your pain is greater than our pain when all you see is your inside and our outside?
So, as difficult as it may be, try not to block us on Facebook. Friend us and don’t “unfollow” because that promotes more misunderstandings, more divisions. And forgive us during our weak moments when we said, “Bye, Felicia!” Some of us heard that from you four and eight years ago, and it did not feel loving back then either. We know you would rather preach to the choir and we have our own choir, too. But, let’s seek out those notes that we can harmonize together. Let’s build bridges and walk on them together, as neighbors in this small world. Let’s not squash each other’s spirits, hopes, and dreams. Have coffee or tea with us in this country.
Your fellow Americans (who happen to be ideological conservatives)
P.S. This letter is not written from my perspective, but from the perspectives of many people I know and love. Next week, I’ll write a similar letter from the opposite perspective, also from many people I know and love. Please hang in there on these conversations.