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Letter: There's a better way to counter our political polarization

To the editor:

This is in response to the Sept. 7 letter from Patricia Allende de Jung in the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Like Patricia, many of us are also troubled by the efforts of some groups to censor the right to free speech of others who have differing views, such as disrupting their town halls and rallies, trespassing and protesting at people's homes, or worse, the recent violence in Charlottesville. As Patricia stated, meeting hatred and anger with hatred and anger is destructive and only serves to feed our dark side.

She offers an alternate reaction of using reason and human compassion. But some of these groups are not interested in reason or compassion, but only in venting their anger, drawing attention and causing division. As Patricia said, they are their own worst enemy.

Most of us want the same things for ourselves, our families and our country; but we differ in how to achieve them. Unfortunately, divisive media sources fan the flames of anger and hate by amplifying our differences, serving only to divide and polarize us. This is very troubling to both liberals and conservatives. But there is hope for us!

A group called the Better Angels (www.better-angels.org) is working on an effective way of countering the red/blue polarization and hostility by encouraging civil dialog between the two sides to find areas of agreement and understanding of the views of others. Members are holding workshops to bring both sides together and teach skills for talking across the political divide and focus on areas of commonality and agreement.

If you are troubled by the growing conflict and hostility that is tearing our nation apart, your participation in these workshops is crucially important to counteract the divisiveness and bring us back to one nation again. Please watch for more information on this in the coming months.

Candice Reyes

Eagan

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