Saturday, July 23, 2005

Politics Drive Me Insane

Deleted by author


thokolosi said...

I was an observer of, rather than a participant in the thread of discussion about which you are writing.

It was a lot to take in, especially being the common link between the debating parties. I am going to resist the impulse to be a moderator other than to say everyone involved in the discussion is a good person, a smart person, a reasonable person, and that nuance and sarcasm are notoriously difficult to use online.

I believe that, in person, the same conversation would end in people mostly agreeing with each other. Online, the arguement ratched up to an oblique invocation of the Godwin Law. Yikes!

That aside, you posed a very interesting question about the independence of words from the speaker. In other words, "can a statement stand on its own outside the context of its speaker?"

If I were asked that question, my short answer would be "yes;" My long answer would be "yes, but..." Especially when the topic is politics, by which I am equally compelled and repulsed.

In politics and punditry, the speaker does color how I hear a message. Even in casual conversation, I think many people speak on multiple levels at the same time. So, I think it is reasonable to be more skeptical of a message from a source whose past statements you find disreputable.

Political outlooks are often the result of a long evolutionary process, and I agree with you that people sometimes need to step back and reexamine beliefs.

I strongly agree with the crux of your post here:
To my surprise I have found that you can often agree with most people on at least one or two things. And this common ground can often lead you to work together more strongly and debate more honestly with that goal of a better society in mind.

You already know my thoughts on "politics as warfare." Our political system encourages partisanship and polarization and I find it takes concerted effort on my part to resist getting sucked into the talking points world.

Even so, I suppose that compromise and harmony are not always possible. In the event of stark, even contentious dispute, I remain sincerly hopeful that rivals can maintain mutual respect, and return to a level field on the next controversial issue.

The Sasquatch said...
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