The existential crisis facing this country is not rooted in politics. The crisis is in this country is ultimately a complete lack of respect for another human being.
Immediately upon reading that, those on the left will argue that they certainly are not guilty of such a thing, as they’re the ones fighting for economic and systemic equality. Those on the right will argue that they are the ones fighting for the unborn and the right of every person to achieve their greatest dreams unhindered by a restrictive government.
There are good intentions on both sides. But what good is any of that, if we demonize the other side? What good is it, if we on the one hand say you are worthy of “x,” but we consider our neighbor unworthy of a civil conversation because they believe “y.” What good is it if we claim we have natural human rights, but a person’s right to be treated with dignity depends solely on the ideas in their head instead of their humanity.
From the left we breed hate towards the wealthy, despite the fact that many of those wealthy do more for the needy in this world than most of us could ever do in my lifetime. We criticize and mock those who believe that a moral standard comes not from our whims and desires but from a Creator. We preach freedom of speech but really mean just my speech. So keep your disagreements at home. We say you don’t love me unless you agree with me.
From the right we elect a bully, who responds to critics not with an argument, but with an insult. We watch as he denies assault not by expressing an outrage at such an action, but by saying she wasn’t his type. And many in the “party of life,” cheer and laugh and has he strips dignity from another life in 280 characters. Some would say, “well we don’t like that but we do like his policies.” What good are policies if we preach their virtue while simultaneously giving the middle finger to half of the country? Is the heart of the country really any better off if we have won the battle but lost the war?
No matter who wins the next election, we’re all losing. We can have the most accessible healthcare and open borders, or the lowest tax rates and strict immigration. But the chaos in this country will not be solved until we look at each other as a person and not a policy.
I’m not saying we all need to sit around the campfire and sing kumbaya. There are stark differences across this nation and they are ones that must be discussed carefully. But we must find a way to treat everyone with dignity. Until people on both sides of the aisle learn once again learn to love their neighbor regardless of circumstance, color, or creed, then this country will be lost.
Zacharias resides in Alpharetta, GA