TO THE EDITOR
This past week at the Polk County Fair, community members who visited the table hosted by the Republican Party found sheets of paper listing all the reasons Democrats/progressives are bad, worse than bad, morally bankrupt Satan-spawn with no values. If one were to believe what they're reading, they'd understandably be more inclined to look the other way for a win at all cost approach of their team. Foreign interference in elections? Worth it. Voter suppression? Worth it. Gerrymandering? Worth it. Allowing big money special interests to buy elections? Worth it. Connecting the dots: a political party that has tapped into our shared values is feeding us lies and the net effect is that we hate or won't be caught dead associating with the other team and they reap the power accordingly.
1 John 2: 9 tells us "anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness." If someone is teaching us to hate our neighbor, our fellow Wisconsinite, our fellow American and we fall for it, we're handing ourselves over to be used.
We are neighbors, Wisconsinites, Americans. We have shared values and different ideas for how to solve problems. Neither side has a monopoly on the right answer. The best solutions pull from philosophical ideals underlying both sides. Like wings of a bird, we need to pull from both sides to fly.
We have real problems tugging at the fabric of our local communities. We can't begin to solve them if we're trapped in this us vs. them nonsense. We need to stop being willing to let others reduce our views of our neighbors to a partisan caricature. Perhaps instead, we can start seeing each other in the light of God's love that He has for all of his people.