14 June 2016

On civility in political discourse

Part of the header on my blog says "promoter of civility in political discourse." I take that seriously. It's the standard I set for myself and it's what I expect of the people I associate with. This means forgoing the friendly confines of the echo chamber and engaging with people of all political persuasions. My list of friends and followers reflects that choice. I believe respectful discussion of issues from all different sides, especially sides we don't necessarily agree with, makes us all better because it exposes us to different perspectives and allows us to hone our own arguments. Underlying this exchange, of course, is civility.

The recent tragedy in Orlando has brought this approach into sharp focus. While most have continued to be civil, others have been less so. In particular, I am disappointed with incoherent attempts at arguments based solely in emotion, ignorant of history, circular in reasoning, and accentuated by ad hominem attacks. This does nothing to advance your position; it's quite the opposite. This does nothing to promote civility; it's quite the opposite. This does nothing to promote healing. It encourages the very echo chambers we ought to be avoiding. It does nothing to bring us together; it does everything to push us apart.

I welcome well-reasoned arguments in opposition. But please do so civilly. If you can't, I have no time for you.
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