Division About Truth is Inevitable: Navigate it Respectfully

Relative to the current struggle for the soul of the Republican party, one political pundit said that the Trumpian vision for that future form of Republicanism “prefers to unite behind a lie [That the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump] rather than stay divided over truth.”

Saving my rejection of building a future Republicanism on a lie for my next Musing, I will now argue for my belief that “being divided over truth” is an inevitable aspect of our humanity that should be acknowledged and embraced and should be the starting point for respectful political discourse.

The fact that we are divided about the nature of truth about any given public policy issue reflects the fact that as finite and fallible human beings our beliefs about that issue are deeply informed by the particularities of our differing social locations, such as our gender, our socio-economic status, our sexual orientation and our life-stories. So, it is an inevitable aspect of the human condition that we often disagree about the truth regarding any public policy issue.

Therefore, rather than rejecting that aspect of our shared humanity by “buying into a lie” for the sake of creating an “easy unity,” we should be exploring ways to navigate our current divisions about the truth regarding many policy issues.

As readers of this website know, my proposal is that we navigate our disagreements about what is the best approximation to the truth about any given public policy issue by creating welcoming and safe spaces for conversation partners to freely express their particular beliefs about the truth of the matter and their reasons for holding to those beliefs, to be followed by respectful conversation that seeks to uncover some common ground, or at least illuminate remaining disagreements in a manner that can inform ongoing conversations.

Therefore, my recommendation to readers of this Musing is that in your respective spheres of influence you start with an acknowledgement that it is our shared humanity that inevitably leads to divisions about the truth, and you then seek constructive ways to navigate such divisions, hoping that you will give serious consideration to my recommendation for doing so.

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