Both sides in any war believe that their side is the just side. The mentality of war says that only when our enemies are defeated can we have peace. Humanity has been fighting an endless war with each other for thousands of years and no side has been able to claim victory.
The problem is the habit of fighting, which in our culture we apply indiscriminately to nearly every situation. Notice the military metaphors that infuse political conversation.
A march. A campaign. A struggle, A fight, A battle. This habit comes in part from the dehumanization of those who are different in thought, word, action, appearance, or culture from ourselves.
They hate blacks. They hate women. They are not like us. They will not change. They have to be fought.
It is astonishing to see how far the general culture still is from true nonviolence, Empathy and compassion, reserving it for their friends but seldom extending it to their opponents. We have a long way to go.
I am horrified by racism, misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia, and the rest of the ugly sentiments that have erupted in the past.
If we really want to change these things and not just feel righteous about being on the right side, then we have to address the ground from which they spring.
To do that, we have to let go of war thinking with its dehumanization, and enter the question that defines compassion:
What is it like to be you?