The evidence is overwhelming that Americans are actively hostile to opposing points of view.

Are We Actually Ready to Seek Common Ground?

‘Unity’ isn’t what increasingly partisan Americans want. What they want is to win.


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25 Comments

Gregory Crawford · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

The Democrats did not seek “common ground” on health care. They hate everything about the U.S. and intend to socialize the economy and ruin us all. They must be resisted.

Cassie Kelly · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

1. I would take polling numbers (especially after this last election) with a grain of salt. 2. I would research those doing the research to see where they stand politically (skewed results and all). 3. Most thinking people aren’t opposed to opposite view points; they are tired of being labeled, screamed at and told (with a wagging finger) that what they believe is emphatically wrong. In other words, stop with the condescension. 4. People have no idea how to have an intelligent discussion, debate or disagreement.

Pat Seal · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

I think we want to but after 8 years of being silenced there’s a lot of pent up hostility. Then we have basically two different generations trying to communicate. One side speaks a contemporary political ease and pc language and the other a more traditional American folksy ease. The two can’t understand and are only half committed to getting there.

David B. Simmons · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

When you have the Hannities and Maddows scaring the crap out of their constituents every night, compromise becomes viewed as life threatening. Never mind, those scary people on the other side are in front of you and behind you in the drive thru, but that’s never seemed to bother you. I digress. One must simply ask, is the basic data from which I draw my hard-lined opinions even accurate? “Compromise” is seen as giving in on your core values. But what if your core values are based on non-factual or misguided or distorted information? Most of the time, it is. None of us are perfect interpreters of our world. So engagement isn’t about compromise, it’s about forcing yourself to check your facts, humbly. But no one likes to check their facts, because they might have to say the three most dreaded words in the English language: “I was wrong.” Or even worse: “You were right.” Human pride, magnified by fear, preyed upon by fake news commentators. There’s a recipe for the end of a Great Republic.

Marsha Losito · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

What happened was the silent majority, fed up with left wing agenda driven globalist democracy being forced down their throats, spoke up with an opposing point of view that sent liberals into a hostile frenzy. Much like spoiled rotten, know-it-all children who will scream at the sky because they were told NO

Anna Kingry · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

Interesting. I think we have reached this state for a couple of reasons. 1)The big love a small percentage has for Donald Trump that the rest of us just can’t share for reasons too numerous to list.Similar to the big love Obama had regardless of what he did. 2) Some of us have convictions that transcend politics. I am very conservative fiscally, but I can live with the debt spending until like Rome we go down. I can let people have their guns. But there’s no way to compromise on whether it’s okay to murder unborn human babies.

Ron Havlicek · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

We have become a country of hate as our enemies unite . We have forgotten that we’re all Americans first. If this doesn’t stop soon it will not End well

Randy Jardee · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

There are at least two world views represented, and they have very little in common. Compromise is not possible because they want to go in opposite directions. Compromise means staying where we’re at, and nobody is satisfied here.

RJ Carr · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

There is no common ground to be had with a bunch of people obsessed with destroying our culture, values, institutions, traditions, history, heritage, bathrooms, etc. We didn’t start this war on all we hold dear. We’re just trying to preserve the country we love. The left started this war and they must be defeated. No compromise.

Rob Hughes · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

I’ll argue all day over marginal tax rates. But when you say that one group of people are less than another group, we’re gonna tussle.

John Paolozzi · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

Well, since conservatives are now essentially coming out as white supremacists who support authoritarianism, I’d say no. Not until there is a move to the middle, and the middle actually means supporting equal rights for everybody. NOT just white straight people who believe in a Christian god.

Michael Cotten · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

It’s hard to compromise with those who see the Constitution as “subject to interpretation” and my paycheck as something that can be redistributed directly to others through social programs funding through the taxes I pay in, against my will and under threat of imprisonment, that get handed out to people that didn’t earn it; and then call it noble and progressive instead of theft.

Ron Holliday · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

if we moved to a flat tax that started at the first dollar earned, there would be no opposing view because their would be no democratic party and the size of government would shrink to almost nothing.

Michael John Carlton-Jones · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

Look, there is no common ground between global socialism and our constitutional Republic. There is no common ground between those who want to murder the unborn and those who believe it to be a sin. There are things we can discuss – but when half the population is sitting in a corner – triggered – where is the conversation? Where are the facts? Where is logic and truth? Half the country finds these concepts “quaint” and old fashioned. Yet they would slaughter me in my sleep for being a white male because I am the root of all evil.

Ron McClain · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

Especially when those opposing points of view are shoved down our throats, under the threat of;

“You WILL believe what I say is the truth, or you are a racist, bigot, homophobe, traitor, narcissist, misogynist, (fill in the pejorative dujour).”

Funny how when somebody’s point of view is calmly explained, the majority of the responses, while they may disagree, are more on the order of trying to convince, rather than demanding compliance.

And then the real debate starts.

But sadly, we have lost that as we have become a less mature Society.

Because somehow or another disagreement is viewed as hate speech, or disrespect, or some other pejorative designed to stop debate, then to foster the free and open exchange of ideas.

Denis O'Sullivan · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

Sad but true. However, instead of looking for non-existent common ground, we need to be looking at making compromises, in maybe the way a married couple does. She doesn’t ever agree to like football, but she’s OK if he watches it on Sunday if they watch a rom-com on Saturday. He hates rom-com’s, but his NFL is very important, so he agrees. They don’t need to agree on football or rom-coms to reach what is an acceptable compromise for both.
What is still possible in politics is something analogous. For example, the right might agree to some concessions on gun-control with assurances that they would not go further, in return for the left agreeing to some limitations on abortions without denying the right to abortion (which they would never agree to, just like the right would never agree to giving up the 2nd Amendment). The result could be fewer abortions, fewer gun-deaths and perhaps only a few people feeling truly aggrieved by the compromises.
Please do not comment on the specific example I picked, it was just an example. The point is, when we look at everything individually, we see only extremist positions – on abortion one side wants to allow abortions until the due date, the other side wants to ban even the morning after pill – and neither has any motivation to cede any ground. Since Roe vs. Wade, the pro-abortion-rights side has the “power”, while on gun-control, the pro-gun-rights side has the power. The result is that, on both these issues, we have laws that far more extreme than the vast majority of people really want, and most would be willing to move a little towards the center – in return for the other side moving towards the center on a different issue.
This sounds idealistic, but anyone who has drunk a few beers with a mixed group of liberals and conservatives in a non-political context has probably discovered that most are not as radical as the politicians representing them, most are willing to make “common-sense” compromises on some (maybe not all, and maybe abortion is a bad example!)) issues. It’s just frustrating that the political process doesn’t allow these compromises to happen.

Scott Richardson · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

The left has no interest in seeking common ground, only in making its desires become fact. They will never stop attempting to move the nation’s social pendulum to the left. And in the past, finding common ground meant our Republican leaders caving to Democrat demands. No more.

Shiela Branson · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

Well and isn’t this piece a dismal commentary. If you weren’t watching as millions of Americans pitched in to help each other without asking for the other person’s ‘political credentials’, you missed seeing what the United States of America is all about. Yammer on, keep trying to divide us – give it your best shot. When push comes to shove America unites. Then we get back to bickering 😉

Jeff Barbour · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

No the communist are openly hostile. It’s the communist who murder in the millions not the people who voted for trump. You NR people are just as leftist as the clintons.

Polly Walden · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

The progressives are out to turn our nation into a communistic hell hole and allow it to be overrun and invaded. There is no common ground to be found with a sick group of people that want to destroy your nation. Just as there are no common grounds with the like of muslims – they accept nothing but annihilation of the enemy, so where is there any room for common ground? Let muslims stay in their countries and leave the rest of the world alone – but they will not do this. If you try and compromise with the likes of muslims or progressives you are a complete moron

Daryl J Phillips · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

How about the feds stick to the federal enumerated powers as our founding documents state and anything else is to be left to the states ! 10th amendment, ,,,,,,, then the dumbacrats and repub hacks wouldn’t have anything to fight about

Michael Cotten · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

If the leftists would just be okay with creating their own little social utopias at the state level and not constantly trample on the entire nation to get their way compromise could happen. If you want universal health care in our state – go for it. Just leave mine alone.

Robbie Kacey · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

No, you voted for an authoritarian leader. You don’t get to be my friend. Find others of your ilk. Shop for brown shirted uniforms together, whisper about which neighbor you’ll turn into Bannon’s concentration camp, share white robes and tiki torches. I don’t consider you a friend and I don’t want you.

John Kocur · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

Not every point of view is legitimate. Socialism and communism depend on government theft from the haves to give to the havenots. Whether performed in the private sector or the public, theft is theft. Common ground between thieves and honest people does not exist, cannot exist, will not exist, ever.

Renee Burns · November 1, 2017 at 10:40 am

Not when the goal of the other side is socialism, globalism & stripping America of its sovereignty. Not when a free vote turns you into a “deplorable” person whose ideals are at risk. Sorry, nope…it’s a cultural war. And our Government is intensely corrupt.

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