The decision before us is not whether we say "never again" and apply the same approaches that keep failing.

Laws on abortion, guns, immigration and voting rights are not what divide us so dangerously. It is how we unite against each other. Nothing unites us like love but against our enemies, nothing like hatred. 

Each side sees the other as enemies of conscience without realizing that the anger working from love for an enemy of conscience is mindful anger, wiser and stronger than the mindless anger of hatred for them.

Uniting under empathy for the other side, without losing sight of the ethical differences in our pluralistic democracy, takes the danger out of the divide. 

We are in need of a principle of conscience that strengthens our system by placing our different ethical standards within a workable framework of empathy. Most republicans would likely respect it since it needs to be based on the biblical standard – although adapted for nonreligious usage also  – of loving one’s enemies, that is, the enemies of conscience, not out of appeasement but from strength of conscience. 

When we use this principle first, we see individuals; when ethics or values are first, we see stereotypes of each other, resulting in racism and all such isms. A simple solution to a difficult problem, so how?