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Both Sides Need Each Other

Shivani Tripathi

Posted on September 7, 2019 15:26

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The two party system enables America to progress.

America is caught in the middle of a polarized election season. Democrats are desperately vying for their party’s nomination while Trump is determined to lead the country for a second term. Both sides have accused each other of hating America and everything it stands for. 

Regardless of who you support, watch this Ted Talk called “The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives.”  Psychologist Jonathan Haidt outlines the five moral values that shape political beliefs: Harm/Care, fairness/reciprocity, ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect, and purity/sanctity. 

After conducting multiple surveys, Haidt found that people across the political spectrum prioritize protecting people from harm and ensuring fairness within a society. However, liberals tend to value ingroup loyalty, authority, and sanctity less than their conservative counterparts.

Instead of ingroup loyalty, liberals call for diversity. They tend to question authority to a greater degree and say “hands off my body” when discussing purity and sanctity. 

In a nutshell, liberals want change and justice, even if it’s at the risk of disorder. Conservatives want to preserve institutions and traditions, even if it suppresses those at the bottom. 

A society must have a balance of both ideologies if it is to progress. We cannot push for change at the expense of stability, and we cannot maintain stability at the expense of change. The American political system embodies this truth -- it flips from Democrat to Republican every four to eight years. Both parties keep each other in check. 

Therefore, Democrats and Republicans should thank each other for existing. But they don’t, instead labeling each other as communists, socialists, and fascists. Haidt believes that the animosity stems from an innate inclination towards tribalism. “Our righteous minds were designed to unite us into teams, divide us against other teams, and blind us to the truth,” he said.

Interestingly enough, Haidt did not advise people to relinquish their convictions. He concluded his talk by encouraging them to shed their natural state of self righteousness and embrace moral humility. 

Haidt delivered his talk over ten years ago, but his words are now even more vital to internalize. We have a two party system for a reason -- remember that as election season unfolds. 

 

Shivani Tripathi

Posted on September 7, 2019 15:26

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Source: ABQJournal

Former Democrat and Republican says he doesn't believe the two-party system is working

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