Thank you for writing that. Although I tend to the right, I have close friends on the left. One has been a friend for sixty years. We once considered getting married but came to our senses before it was too late. Since college we went different directions politically. In spite of that we respect each other.

I believe each of us has justifiable reasons for our political beliefs and activities. It is seeing each other as members of identity groups, and only that, that would keep us from getting along.

It’s as though an identity is a shield that keeps us from seeing all that a person is. When I meet someone who differs from me in race, politics, ethnic group, religion, or social class, I see it as an opportunity to learn, not a reason to be patronizing or contemptuous. People have reasons for their beliefs just as I do. It as only by communicating we can understand the reasons we disagree and live peaceably side by side.

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