Open up to other viewpoints

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To the Editor:

In characterizing Republicans by implication as operating out of “fear of threats or conspiracies founded on delusion and irrationality,” Jack Fruchtman (“The persistence of a paranoid style,” Dec. 31) further inflames the crisis of hate plaguing our nation.

Rather than using as his inspiration Richard Hofstadter, a historian who evolved from a communist to “consensus” interpretation of history, Mr. Fruchtman might have instead considered quoting the contemporary social moralist Jonathan Haidt of NYU, who presents a broad range of political perspectives in his rigorous study of the foundations of morality in politics. Professor Haidt’s hope is to address our republic’s poisonous (and possibly fatal) divisiveness with a genuine effort to understand others outside one’s group, so that we can restore a spirit of compromise and respect essential to the survival of our democracy. The leaders and citizens of our republic face the urgent responsibility of promoting a commitment to empathy and more objective exploration of truth and learning.

The MV Times can contribute to diminishing the hate culture by inviting a more open-minded and balanced viewpoint in its 2021 Op-Ed pieces.

Dusty Burke
Oak Bluffs