i’ve come across a couple of articles recently that describe the current (gridlocked) state of politics in the US, whether between politicians themselves or those that align with them, and of course some of this translates to our daily lives and interactions as well. i struggle to reconcile the need for harmony and unity and forward progress — whether personally or in the world around me — with the desire to just retreat into my own safe world. more often that not, my thought is — if someone aligns themselves with a worldview that is directly antithetical to mine, i’m not particularly interested in what you have to say. i don’t want to live in their world. at all. ever. when this is a member of your family, this is very difficult to reconcile. and of course this includes but also transcends politics.

i struggle to understand the corporatist, ‘rugged individualist’, capitalist, fundamentalist, daddy-state worldview…i personally find so little in it that i feel is redeeming…and can’t imagine a way to approach a person who aligns with these views, much less try to understand them or what motivates them. i don’t want anything to do with the world they want. i wish they would just secede already. if their vision of the world is truly the correct one, then good for them — they have their own world, their own paradise, and can leave me and my kind alone.

i just can’t see how these completely opposing views on how society should be constructed can be reconciled without separating them into two different experiments.

if you read deeper into these things, you may find parallels in your own personal relationships with family and friends (or, estranged family and ex-friends, in some cases), and even others in your circle — like co-workers or group members. consider this —

We may define one idea or point of view as bad (black) and reject it, aligning ourselves with the good (white) perspective. Feelings of anger and self-righteousness often accompany this process, bolstering our conviction that we are in the right and the other side in the wrong. Hatred for the rejected point of view keeps ambiguity and uncomfortable complexity from re-entering the field.

Black-and-white thinking reflects the psychological process known as splitting. When we feel unable to tolerate the tension aroused by complexity, we “resolve” that complexity by splitting it into two simplified and opposing parts, usually aligning ourselves with one of them and rejecting the other. As a result, we may feel a sort of comfort in believing we know something with absolute certainty; at the same time, we’ve over-simplified a complex issue.

On the emotional front, splitting comes into play when we feel hostile toward the people we love. Holding onto feelings of love in the presence of anger and even hatred is a difficult thing for most of us to do. Sometimes hatred proves so powerful that it overwhelms and eclipses love, bringing the relationship to an end. More often we repress awareness of our hostile feelings; or we might split them off and direct them elsewhere, away from the people we care about. (from ‘The Emotional Psychology of a Two-Party System‘)

ever done this in your personal life ? i know i have. i suppose i need therapy…

on the other hand, i find it difficult to imagine a future with a person who, even if once loved, has such an opposing outlook on life that they are now incompatible with me. what are blood ties really worth when you cannot bond ? i’d sooner try to make a clean break and try to make my own way in life, or make a way forward with others of like-mind, surrounded by company i value and who value me.

so what’s the right way forward ?……

more reading : ‘Why Everything Is Politicized Even Though Most Americans Hate It