Two noted academics from both sides of the political aisle joined forces last week in an op-ed calling for citizens to show “honesty and courage” in order to, hopefully, unify the country.
Princeton’s Robert George and Harvard’s Cornel West note what should be the norm surrounding political discourse — that the country’s greatness and growth can and should be celebrated, all the while acknowledging its shortcomings and need for improvement.
Not to mention, individuals should feel safe to express their views and be wise enough to consider those of others … and possibly indulge in a change of mind when persuaded.
We need the honesty and courage to express dissent — to say, “No, I will not go along” — when conscience tells us that our own ideological or political tribe has gone astray or gone too far or become fanatical and blind to integrity and the dignity of all.
We need the honesty and courage to stand up — to stand alone, if necessary — to speak the truth, as God gives us to see the truth, to the politically, economically, and culturally powerful as well as to the relatively powerless. …
We need the honesty and courage not to compromise our beliefs or go silent on them out of a desire to be accepted, or out of fear of being ostracized, excluded, or canceled.
We need the honesty and courage to consider with an open mind and heart points of view that challenge our beliefs — even our deepest, most cherished identity-forming beliefs. We need the intellectual humility to recognize our own fallibility — and that, too, requires honesty and courage.
The professors also offer a warning to President Trump and Democratic candidate Biden: “Remember that victories can be pyrrhic, destroying the very thing for which the combatants struggle.”
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