Political bubbles exist everywhere in America and they spawn disdainful stereotypes of The Other. When Erica Etelson decided to reach across the divide something surprising happened.
On my way to my first left-right political dialogue, I was dubious. Was there any point in talking to Republicans? Was I consorting with the enemy?
I live in a liberal Berkeley bubble and, like three out of four Americans, I don’t talk to people on the other team. I scarcely thought of them at all until November 8, 2016, and then, suddenly, I despised them.
I binged on social media vilifying Trump supporters as Archie Bunkers out of central casting. My contempt was registering in the 90th percentile, and I literally felt poisoned by it.
Eventually, my curiosity was aroused. I started going to left-right dialogues to understand how anyone could have thought it was a good idea to vote for Donald Trump. And the smugly self-righteous part of me thought that, just maybe, I could convince them to see the error of their ways. That didn’t happen.