If compromise is proactively sought, then diversity is good

Editor,

I recently went into a local business and saw a note from a former customer posted on the wall. The customer said he was so upset by the business owner’s reaction to the November election, that he would no longer do business at that establishment. The customer went on to say he has no tolerance for “liberal” ideology, and felt his vote for Donald Trump would “Make America Great Again.”

As a self-described Liberal, I was inspired to respond with this:

Dear Sir,

I respect your right to hold and express your political ideas. I will stand up for all your rights as an American citizen and a human being. I will do so even though I do not like the conservative ideas you support any more than you like my progressive ideas.

You expressed the notion that people like myself will one day learn your ideas are superior to ours. Perhaps that is true. I believe our only chance to learn about one another is to make a genuine effort to understand and empathize with each other, especially those who are most different from us. To that end, I seek respectful communication with people who hold ideas different than my own.

Here is something I wrote some time ago:

We Americans are a very diverse people, and I believe our diversity is what makes us a strong nation. That is, even though I am a proud Liberal, I believe the conservative counter to my beliefs is a good thing for America. But it is only good if we all recognize that none of us will get everything we want, if we look for ways to accommodate the needs and wants of people who are most different from us, if we are proactively seeking compromise, then diversity is good.”

Sincerely,

STEVE FORD

Langley