The current pandemic has revealed much about ourselves and our relationship to the government and to each other. An already-existing wound has been deepened, and at this point it is unlikely that it will heal.
Conservatives’ eyes have been opened to see a government engaging in tyrannical overreach approaching the degree that conspiracy theorists have warned about: not just by liberals, but supported by conservative governors, and even an institution—the police—that they have trusted, praised, and upheld as heroes. They see liberals as foolishly supporting that tyranny, insufficiently self-aware to realize their bondage in the universal house arrest or the upcoming economic catastrophe.
Liberals’ eyes have been opened to see a conservative movement intent on activity that will kill people, and that the government must suppress the movement by force in order to save lives.
To conservatives, liberals are a threat to freedom and cannot be reconciled to reason. To liberals, conservatives are a threat to people’s lives and cannot be reconciled to reason. The logical conclusion for either side is that force must be used to bring the other side into submission.
The hatred may fester for a while, perhaps years, in mutual toleration, but without a fundamental change in people’s character, the inevitable result is going to be violence. Unless a group of people decline the invitation to hate those who don’t think like them, sooner or later violence will be unavoidable.
If you choose not to hate, sooner or later you will be hated for your choice. Choose it anyway. Love your neighbor, even when he hates you.