Discussion 4: Taking Blame out of the Red-Blue Divide--and other Similar Conflicts

Business-as-Usual Part 3 discusses what we (and many others) call "the blame game" in which each side defines a conflict in terms of the errors or evil of "the other."  Peacebuilders often urge their clients to reframe their "enemy images" into a more complex understanding of the nature of the conflict.  But do we do this ourselves, when the conflict involves us?  

If you are from the United States, please consider the following two questions: 

  1. How can we reframe our red-blue political conflict in terms of EACH SIDES' contribution (as opposed to playing the blame game)?
  2. What effects would that reframing have on the the relationship between the disputants?  On the conflict system overall?  (For example, on the relationship between liberals and conservatives, on our political discourse, or on the US political system overall?)   

If you are from elsewhere, please consider those two questions in terms of a different identity conflict.  The same issues apply in most of them, we think.


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