But true empathy and respect are the antidotes to anger.
I’m not asking anyone to equivocate their convictions or set aside their passion — just the opposite. Empathy and respect can open the door to conversations affording us the opportunity to actually persuade our fellow citizens, which we can all agree would be a welcome change from the verbal masturbation of the weekly presidential debates.
If we truly try to know the hearts and minds of those with whom we staunchly disagree, I believe we can immeasurably impact our culture.
By engaging those whose views are currently unwelcome in the contemporary university, we could turn away the wrath that seeks out scapegoats and restore peace and rationality to our civic conversations. If we can muster the strength to choose empathy over derision, kindness over anger, I believe we could return to democracy’s highest ideals and truly make America great again.