The best way to overcome our fear is to know more about it. “Ignorance” is not lack of knowledge—we cannot know everything—but judging without the willingness to know.
Ignorance permeated both sides of the political spectrum in this election. Both sides feared one another, yet made little to no effort to know one another. They let themselves be so overwhelmed with the fear of the other that they just shut down, and made no effort to reach out to the other side.
The political scientist interviewed in this article did the right thing. For about a decade, she traveled back and forth to rural towns in order to understand “why they feel the way they feel, why they vote the way they vote.” This article was published on Election Day before the result came out, but I think Trump’s victory lends further credibility to her theory.
There is a vast divide between the rural USA and the urban USA. We no longer understand one another. Ugly bigotry actually exists on both sides. The liberals are lucky because there is no shameful term like “racism” to label their own version. The closest word is perhaps “elitism.”