WINDSOR TERRACE — The political rhetoric, the anger, and the divisiveness taking place in the U.S. are what make the headlines, especially in the wake of the tumultuous Biden-Trump election.
But most Americans don’t go around constantly yelling at each other. They live their lives in harmony with their family, friends, and neighbors, even if they don’t always agree with them.
Here at The Tablet, we thought we’d explore that under-reported truth and write about what goes on beyond the headlines and the soundbites.
With that in mind, we will soon introduce “Friends, Not Foes,” a new series designed to show how people actually live. Once a month, we will focus on two people in the Diocese of Brooklyn who have forged an unlikely alliance and who get along with each other quite well despite their differences.
Many of the differences between people are deep and profound. Some of the differences are superficial, But whether serious or lighthearted, people work through the differences and come to an understanding that strengthens their relationship. Here are some examples of the types of people we’re talking about: A Democrat and a Republican. A Yankee fan and a Met fan. A dog owner and a cat person. These are just some of the people “Friends, Not Foes” will highlight.
You might recognize yourself among them!
Looking for examples of unity in a time when the country seems more divided than ever since the Civil War can seem like a big hill to climb.
A survey by Pew Research Center conducted in September found that the country is so sharply divided politically that both Republicans and Democrats expressed negative views of people in the opposing party in the survey — not just of their politics but also personally.
For example, 55 percent of Republicans said Democrats were “more immoral” than other Americans, and 47 percent of Democrats had the same view of GOP members. But the same Pew poll found that Democrats and Republicans had one crucial thing in common: they both were overwhelmingly concerned about political divisions tearing the country apart.
There are some hints that the country has more unity than at first glance.
A recent poll conducted by Reader’s Digest and the group More in Common found that three in five Americans believe there is a great deal more unity in their local community than national. Of those surveyed, 28 percent said they saw more acts of kindness in their communities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have a suggestion of two people you’d like to see profiled in “Friends, Not Foes,” please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.