Letter: Visceral politics

Published: 05-07-2024 12:05 PM

The future of American democracy is now threatened by mean-spirited “them-us” politics. Historically, our strength has been built on diversity, where immigrants keep adding to the melting pot.

Thus, viewed through reasonable brains and compassionate hearts, most of the establishment welcomes newcomers. In fact, except for Native Americans, everyone is a newcomer.

However, when confronted with real or perceived threats, stressed brains regress to fight, flight and freeze visceral survival reactions. Then, rather than viewing life as an enriching rainbow, threatened minds categorize everything as either-or, black-white, right-wrong, “them-us.”

Reason gets trumped by “Don’t confuse my political/religious beliefs, because my mind is already made up!”

Mike Beebe