I try to see things from other people's perspectives - up to a point. I cannot fathom the "perspective" of a Qanon believer, for example, other than to chalk it up to mental illness. The best I can do in the empathy department there is to admit that they are believing in something that is convenient to believe and like all forms of belief, can be comforting - and also very, very evil.
But I understand why a businessman wants lower taxes and fewer regulations. I emphasize with the college student who graduates with what seems like a mountain of debt and no way to pay it off - I was in those shoes myself once. I can commiserate with someone who cannot afford the staggering cost of health insurance. I can even understand where someone is coming from when they say they don't recognize their home town anymore, as all the signs are in a foreign language and everyone is speaking a different tongue. Yes, that can be unsettling, but of course, no excuse for xenophobia.
The list goes on and on. The point is, in almost every case, people's views are shaped by their experiences, and you have to think about things from their point of view to understand why they feel the way they do. They are not just being arbitrary and stubborn for the sake of it. Republicans aren't trying to turn the country into a Nazi state, nor are Democrats pining for a Socialist or Communist utopia - well, maybe a little Socialist, but that's about it.
The far fringes? Yea, they are pretty much unhinged - useful idiots who go out and riot in the street over absolutely nothing, ruining their own lives and mental health even further, and then arguing that only an overthrow of the existing system will "fix" their broken lives. But the existing system isn't all that bad, despite what folks will tell you. In fact, it is the envy of most of the rest of the world. Countries with extremist politics - left or right - illustrate quite nicely why those extremes never work out well.
What is "broken" in our country isn't "the system" - it seems to be working quite well, actually. Trump has tried, like Samson chained to the pillars of the temple, to bring down our Democracy around him, in a last-ditch effort at self-destruction. And who knows? Maybe he will still succeed in the coming weeks, with a messy showdown in Congress, or even an attempt at a military coup on January 19th. But I doubt it - and recent events have illustrated how our country can come together to overcome adversity. For example, the House and Senate have voted overwhelmingly to pass a defense bill - and likely will override President Trump's veto. His last hissy-fit and temper tantrum before leaving office - quietly overcome.
In the coming months, we'll see all sorts of nonsense - endless "Hunter Biden" investigations, which like Whitewater and Benghazi before them, will amount to nothing - in fact, what the previous Hunter Biden investigations amounted to. But those sort of things are just noise - a sideshow to rile up the masses and show them the "other side" is no damn good, corrupt, and vile. It is like Trump's impeachment. Was there Russian influence in the 2016 election? No doubt about it - there is Russian influence in everything these days. We play the same game. And apparently the French have been caught at it in Africa - every country uses social media these days to influence opinion. One Republican here in the States poses as a "Black Gay Guy" (perhaps his sexual fantasy?) to promote his own agenda - and that of Trump. Like I said, it is just a sideshow - don't be taken in by it.
And perhaps Trump's clumsy attempts to steal the election were also a sideshow - but a sideshow with frightening possible outcomes. If Trump succeeded (or succeeds) it would have lead to a civil war - a very bloody and messy civil war. And who knows? It may still do this, even after Trump is gone, if these idiots preaching violence and secession succeed.
This can only happen, however, if we stop listening to each other. And unfortunately, it seems that people have already stopped listening to opposing views and have no intention of ever even considering the other guys' point-of-view ever again. On the right, we have these hard-core Trumpers who are denying reality right down the line. There was a joke I read online about this.
Two hardcore Trump supporters die and go to heaven.God meets them at the pearly gates and asks if they have any questions. One of them says, “yes, what were the real results of the 2020 election and who was behind the fraud?”.God says, "my son, there was no fraud. Biden won the electoral college fair and square, 306 to 232”.After a few seconds of stunned silence, the one guy turns to the other and whispers, “This goes higher up than we thought!”