Liberals and Conservatives do not have to always be in conflict. They are not two separate things. They are like two sides of a coin. They need each other to balance each other out, and it would lead to stagnation if everyone was a moderate and there were no Conservatives or Liberals. Here are some qualities of each that most of us could agree with:
Conservative: Hard work, discipline, order, planning ahead, cleanliness, punctuality, conserving resources, reasonable caution, making changes carefully, safety, protection, individual freedom, self-reliance, independence, and decisiveness.
Liberal: Music, dance, laughter, play, recreation, flexibility, open to new ideas, welcoming changes, creativity, compassion, caring for the sick and the poor, protecting minorities, advocating human rights and democracy, forgiveness and non-judgment, and cooperation.
I’m sure you can come up with more qualities for each that are positive and constructive. Neither has monopoly on truth or lies, violence or nonviolence, justice or injustice, respect or disrespect, love or hate.
Conservatives and Liberals can compromise to work together.
None of their above- mentioned qualities are absolute. To rigidly hold to either side as if these qualities were mutually exclusive, black or white, with no shades of grey, is “stinkin’ thinkin’,” reminiscent of alcoholism and other addictions. We would have to give up being “right,” vs. being “wrong” to get past this.
There are some things we should not compromise on: Actions that advocate stealing, deliberately lying, cheating, physical and sexual abuse, especially of children, violence, and obvious violations of the Constitution. And you could think of more vices not to compromise on. But there is a lot we could work together on if we listened to each other instead of keeping our heads glued to our own echo chambers.
David G. Schwartz Louisa
Editor’s Note: This letter originally appeared in the September 6th issue of the Central Virginian, and is reposted here with the author’s permission.