Reading a NYTimes review of Vicente Fox’s memoir, and saw a quote that shows a little step in bridging the divide between people with opposing views.
It’s simple: don’t slam the person, critique the idea.
Fox, the former president of Mexico, calls George Bush “a loving Christian.” He writes, “I am absolutely certain that George W. Bush did what he believed he had to do (after 9/11), in order to protect his country and the world from evil…. The sad thing is that he was so deeply, deeply wrong.”
Fox doesn’t call Bush a bad person. But he says very clearly that his decisions have been bad. That’s a big difference. And in communication between people, acknowledging common motives makes the criticism easier to hear.
Fox doesn’t pull punches. In the review he’s quoted as calling Bush a “windshield cowboy” who speaks “grade-school-level Spanish” and is the cockiest man Fox has met. These are fair-game observations and assessments. But they don’t slam Bush’s character, or his heart.
It’s a small but significant step.