How can we communicate…?

I haven’t posted for several days because I’ve been trying to think about what I wanted to say…and how.

I’ve been through a lot of presidential elections…and I’ve read about others. Some have been significantly contentious–but I can’t remember any in which communication has been as difficult as this one.

We may have disagreed about issues–sometimes strongly and loudly. That’s part of our democratic process. But we seemed to be looking at the same world.

That’s what troubles me about this year. It feels like we’re not even seeing–or living in–the same world. The visions are so completely in opposition.

And I wonder: how can we communicate with each other following this election if we don’t even see the same world?

Even at the founding of this country–and again, when we were struggling with whether to stay a united country or separate–we saw the world the same. We just had disagreements over issues, i.e., our relationship with England…our beliefs about those who were “other”…what the responsibilities of states were vs. responsibilities of the government…

But now…

One vision of the world seems very bleak and dystopian. Everything is a failure…we must separate into a modern version of tribes in order to protect ourselves from those who would destroy what we believe in…there appears to be no hope.

The other vision recognizes that there are problems and issues that need to be dealt with…but believes that we can work together to solve the challenges before us.

So how can we communicate? How can we build bridges with each other?

I don’t know…and that’s what worries me.

If we can’t find ways to communicate, then it won’t matter how the election turns out. We will all have lost…

But I still have hope.

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