Our Emotional World(s) - "The Cause"
I hear a lot of criticism of Trump supporters and "conservatives" with a general statement of intense disgust as in:
"How could anyone support someone who insults immigrants and has policies that are horrible to children at our borders?"
I also hear people talk of how they are "self-made" or have earned all that they've gotten and that individual effort is the most important thing for all of us.
I think that most Americans live in their core emotional essence - which for some of us is in our hearts. We are often emotional voters - caring for others is primary in our beliefs. We care about multiple areas of people including Blacks (when we are not Black), gay/lesbian/trans - gender fluid people when we are not identifying directly with them as one of them, immigrants, when we aren't an immigrant, the disabled, children, the elderly etc.
For others their emotional essence relates to trauma - fears - and sometimes paranoias. Often this fear relates to a fear of a loss of being seen as "the norm". Commonly this relates strongly to racism - related to Blacks and immigrants. It is directly tied to changes in our culture - that go beyond race. These people have lived in a world where being white was taken for granted. Now, being white has become a sign of being behind the times or otherwise immaterial.
Within this "other" state of fear - is often a feeling of: "I earned respect" - e.g. - I should be "successful" and - related to this - others don't deserve the success that I have (or should have). The American - "individualism" - is at the core of this vision. Here we may hear words like "socialism", "radical leftists" and similar.
My neighbor S - who grew up in Cabrini Green (notorious former public housing project in Chicago), believes strongly in his Christian faith, and is relatively successful economically. Being Black doesn't mean that he identifies with the visions of the Democratic Party or leftists at all. I would be hard pressed to label "S" as "racist". He (honestly) believes that there is as much danger of a radical leftist takeover of our government, as a takeover of the right.
Yes, racism is a core problem we face!!! No question about it.
At the same time, for a lot of people, all the obvious weaknesses of Donald Trump don't matter at all like they matter to most of us. Trump - may not be ideal - to many of them, but he is seen as being a lot better than Joe Biden is. Politicians like AOC and Bernie Sanders - to such people may be as "radically wrong" as Donald Trump is to us.
Fears - and core emotional visions of reality - are very important in my estimation! We use facts - climate change, housing/educational segregation etc. - to justify our core beliefs. Underneath it all - though - a lot of this relates to our emotion based view of the world - a world of sharing and caring - beyond "our own" (e.g. our immediate families and similar).
When we look at the radical divide in our country we often are simplistic in seeing it, and how we should deal with it. We try to argue with "logic" and "facts. Both are disputed by those we talk at.
We really need to see where others are afraid. We need to try to hear why people are hurting or angry or sad. We may not agree with it, but we need to know what we are dealing with.
Only when we do this will we be able to talk listening and hearing others. Only then will we have a chance at moving forward together.