Really, we don’t. And that’s okay. In fact, I think it’s desirable. Most certainly, we don’t have to agree across party lines, but that’s not even what I’m referring to here. I’m referring to not having to agree with people within your own party or ideology. That’s also okay and, again, desirable because it shows you think for yourself and don’t agree just because you’re supposed to.
If someone is a progressive, that doesn’t mean we are going to agree on everything. We’ve certainly had different life experiences that have helped shape our ideology. But, we are still different people with different views. And, that’s okay. This is part of the problem I see today within our political parties. If a person is a Republican but doesn’t agree with everything the Republican platform dictates, they become a RINO. Take Senator McCain and his daughter, for instance. These are two individuals who are life long members of the Republican party, both very intelligent people who think and reason on their own not letting their party dictate their ideology. They are referred to as RINO’s constantly. Why? Because they don’t drink the kool aid.
No battle was ever won by staying in the camp. You have to avoid group think. You must be an individual. Battles are won by going to the other side and coming to a compromise through intelligent and respectful discussion. The only way to do this is to think and reason for yourself rather than be spoon fed whatever your party or ideology wants to provide. Here’s the best side effect: you become smarter. If you only surround yourself with others who think like you, you’re never going to learn and grow. By having a discussion with someone of a different ideology, you gain a better understanding of where they are coming from. Does that mean you begin to agree with them? Of course not! Just like you have reasons for why you believe what you do, someone with an opposing view also has reasons for why they hold the opposite view. By discussing this with them, you begin to understand where they are coming from and, therefore, gain a better understanding of why they hold the opposing view. It’s a sad day when someone who offers up reasonable thoughts that don’t abide by the party platform is vilified and banished from a party or ideology.