After a brief exchange between my cousin Steve (a conservative) and me (not a conservative), it became clear to me that what was missing in the current political environment is clarity about the goals and values held by the people in power and the people who elect them. Do goals and values clash? If they do, what can we do about that? If they are aligned how can we come together to find the right means to achieve them?
Me: "I hope that rational thinking, honesty, compassion and loving kindness prevail so that the dangerous and disheartening divide in the country and world will be replaced by a common movement towards compromise and collaboration."
Steve: "Although we basically agreed years ago to have different thoughts on some of what goes on in our worlds--I totally agree with your comment about rational thinking to help heal the divide in our country with a movement toward compromise and collaboration!!"
Of course, we might disagree about what we mean by rational thinking and about how much compromise is possible without violating deeply held values. But at least there is a start towards dialog and possible reconciliation.