We all know and love someone that we disagree with politically, right? In fact, there are thousands of people across the country that have stopped talking to their loved ones simply because they cannot find common ground on their political beliefs. We all agree this is heartbreaking, but how do we fix it?
Arthur Brooks has an incredible answer to this question on this week’s episode of Kirk Cameron’s weekly web series, The Campfire.
Arthur Brooks is the president of the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy think tank located in Washington D.C. He writes for the Washington Post, hosts the podcast “The Arthur Brooks Show,” and is a bestselling author of 11 books on topics including the role of government, economic opportunity, happiness, and the morality of free enterprise.
Let’s just say the man knows what he’s talking about when it comes to discussing politics in an effective and loving manner.
Kirk Cameron asked Dr. Brooks, “How can we have respectful conversations with people who lean toward the ideas of socialism and big government?”
“This is a huge problem,” he responded. “One in six Americans have stopped talking to a family member or a close friend because of politics.”
He continued, “Number one, we need to remember that somebody’s ideas are not that person.” He explained that there is a small but loud community in the media, in newspapers, and in cable TV that is trying to convince the American people that if we disagree with someone, we should hate them.
Dr. Brooks says this is completely wrong. “We are commanded to love other people even if we hate their ideas! And to love somebody else, you start by listening and trying to understand what’s on their hearts.”
When talking with someone that we disagree with, Dr. Brooks says that we should first try to find common moral ground with them and to really listen with love. “There is a moral commonality among all people, that’s the cosmic goodness of God’s creation.”
After listening to everything they care about, the problems they face, their joys, and their concerns, Dr. Brooks suggests responding by saying, “I might have a better way for you to meet your goals.”
He adds that we should assume the best possible motives of the person we’re talking to because ultimately, we all want the same thing… We want a better world for our children. That’s when we can then lovingly share the things we’ve learned that can actually meet those objectives.
What did Kirk Cameron think of his answer? Watch a clip from the interview below to find out. And to watch the full episode with your free trial, you can click here: