If we look at the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention as two divergent world views versus party systems, we can start to unearth the why-why our country is so deeply divided with grossly different views of the world.
The assessment of the Democratic National Convention’s mission was to show Vice President Joe Biden as a decent man with years of proof of his decency, compassion, and empathy. Along with this hope that voters see VP Joe Biden as a deep contrast to the petty, vindictive, and unempathetic President Donald J. Trump, the DNC sought to create an emotional plea for a saner America, free from the petty and vindictive politics we’ve seen. If Michelle Obama’s continued mantra of “when they go low, we go high” was proof of a Democratic ethos, then this is the one Democrats seek to espouse.
For voters to see a stark contrast between world views, one only has to look at speakers of the Republican National Convention. Fear is a great motivator. Fear is the guiding principle behind the RNC-fear of the other, fear of immigrants, fear of evidence-based processes we don’t understand, fear of a hypothetical socialist Marxist identity of America. Fear is a great motivator for voters but living in fear- as a world view-only seeks to create a world of us vs. them, rather than a world of Americans together.
Breaking down the RNC more, speakers spoke on the dangers of restorative justice, a process of forgiveness instead of holding onto anger, resentment, and hurt. A process that rehabilitates rather than punishes. The RNC fights against the right for women’s reproductive freedom guised in caring about the unborn. The RNC fears the immigrant who may be a criminal, even though statistics show this is an uncommon reality.
With two divergent views, one dark and cynical, the other cautiously hopeful, we see an America deeply divided not just along party lines, but with a different world view. We see the world drastically different. Imagine living in a world where you’re constantly afraid of what you don’t understand or can’t comprehend, instead of seeking to learn that which you don’t understand so you may grow to understand and believe in the humanity of our country. These divisions are so stark, they go beyond party and into an ethos on how we live life. Because of these world views, the parties have had difficulty seeing common ground. What’s common ground between fear and optimism? Where do the parties go from here?
It is a short road to November. We must buy into one or the other world view and hope that one day we can come together to build upon some common ground. This election shows us that there are two Americas, even more divided by ethos, ethics, and integrity than ever before. Polarization did not start with this presidency but has created more vitriol than we have seen in any election. Brace yourself for more fear and less pragmatism as we enter the final months of the election.