Now that the elections are over and the dust is beginning to settle, I want to share one last bit from the email exchange I had with my old friend during the elections. I encouraged him to keep up the difficult task of thinking deeply about these political issues. It was also an encouragement to myself, one that I needed to hear since I so easily demonize people who hold opposing views.
It is easier to just fall in line with a party or a culture or a family, but who wants a bunch of automatons spouting the talking points of others? The two difficulties in thinking through these issues (there are more difficulties, I'm sure, but these two stand out): 1) It is hard, takes energy, and is often viewed as weird among family and friends; and 2) Since we don't demonize those who think differently than we, we have to do the hard work of learning to live and love the other. This last point is not something ideologues are willing to do. It is much easier to write off those crazy liberals or those close-minded conservatives. Being a good citizen, or a good person, or in some cases a good Christian is hard work.