Hope vs. Fear: Why the Audacity of Hope Will Win

Given that “Super Tuesday” is only two days away, I thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at the Republican race and emphasize that their politics of division and mistrust should not succeed.

As a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson has advanced science in ways many thought impossible. But, as a Republican Presidential hopeful he has called for a biblical taxation system, has questioned the authenticity of President Obama’s blackness, and has reaffirmed his distrust of Muslims. He has found ways to divide people, whether through race, religion, or ethnicity. This cannot and should not be tolerated.

Senator Ted Cruz has expressed his disdain for radical Islamic terrorism, but it is hard to figure out where his hatred of terrorism ends and whether it seeds into a mistrust of Muslims.

Real-estate mogul Donald Trump has seen his campaign riddled with so much inappropriateness that it reads as a ‘what-not-to-do’ manual. Strangely he finds himself leading the polls. From talking about the physical appearances of women, to telling Mexicans and Muslims that they pretty much aren’t wanted, to calling for water-boarding, he divides rather than unites. Despite all this, he continues to win.

The more men like Mr. Trump, Senator Cruz, and Dr. Carson tell the world that we should be inherently distrustful of others, the more I look elsewhere.

Donald Trump

President Lincoln and Maya Angelou, though not perfect by any means, best exemplify compassion, understanding and, inclusion.  Their message was not one of division and opposition, but rather of embracing diversity and unity.

Maya Angelou said, “In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” This should be taken to heart. Whether gay, lesbian, black, white, Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, it is through diversity that society is strengthened and enriched. Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address still has tremendous relevance today. In his appeal to the South on the verge of the Civil War, Mr. Lincoln said, “Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.”

If the bonds of affection are broken, division will destroy us, it will cripple us, and will force us to look upon differences as dangers.

As my previous blog posts have mentioned, whether from First Nations issues in Canada, to Black History Month, to finding a common ground for respecting same-sex marriages around the world, I have tried to illustrate how globally society can improve and be more inclusive and diverse. Humans, I believe, have an infinite potential and we must not recoil from that.

We have the ability to appeal to the better angels of our nature. But we must do so sooner rather than later.

 

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