Glenn has been talking about the importance of looking at people – regardless of their ideological background – as fellow human beings and not adversaries with whom we cannot find any commonality. Rallying around the principles that unite us instead of dividing over those we disagree on may be easier said than done, but Glenn is not the only person taking such a stand.
Earlier this week, Andrew W.K. – a musician and writer for New York-based Village Voice – responded to a reader in his weekly column who referred to himself as “Son of a Right-Winger.” The reader explained he is no longer able to “deal” with his “super right-wing conservative” father because he “has basically turned into a total a**hole intent on ruining our relationship and our planet with his politics.”
The man goes on explain he will love his father “no matter what,” but he is struggling to figure out how to tell his dad his beliefs are “turning him into a monster, destroying the environment, and pushing away the people who care about him.”
That is where W.K. comes in. In his response to “Son of a Right-Winger,” the columnist quickly gets to the heart of the matter: “The world is being destroyed by one side believing the other side is destroying the world.”
Below is an excerpt from W.K.’s response:
Dear Son of A Right-Winger,
Go back and read the opening sentences of your letter. Read them again. Then read the rest of your letter. Then read it again. Try to find a single instance where you referred to your dad as a human being, a person, or a man. There isn't one. You've reduced your father -- the person who created you -- to a set of beliefs and political views and how it relates to you.
[W]e must protect and respect each other, no matter how hard it feels. No matter how wrong someone else may seem to us, they are still human. No matter how bad someone may appear, they are truly no worse than us… We must make endless efforts to try and understand the people we least relate to… Not because it's nice or because they deserve it, but because our own sanity and survival depends on it.
Love your dad because he's your father, because he made you, because he thinks for himself, and most of all because he is a person. Have the strength to doubt and question what you believe as easily as you're so quick to doubt his beliefs. Live with a truly open mind -- the kind of open mind that even questions the idea of an open mind. Don't feel the need to always pick a side. And if you do pick a side, pick the side of love. It remains our only real hope for survival and has more power to save us than any other belief we could ever cling to.
Your friend, Andrew W.K.
Read the full response HERE.
On radio this morning, Glenn read through W.K.’s advice and explained just how vital this message is.