Friday, April 23, 2021

Oppose Dumbness!

John Halpin at The Liberal Patriot has had it! He's tired of all the dumb stuff that passes for political discussion in this country. We can do better!
"When was the last time you had an enjoyable and constructive conversation about American politics and society in the past 5 years, in-person or online? It’s painful. The buzzwords, the group think, the mangling of facts, the bad faith, the self-righteous posing, the sizing up of people to tear them down.
Politics used to be a field that was mildly interesting and engaging for experts and non-experts alike. You could bring up with a stranger or colleague some interesting tidbit gleaned from the daily paper or another periodical—maybe the new jobs figures, a public health stat, or some far away famine or military conflict—and learn something new about how others think and process information. Maybe you’d disagree, even vehemently. But perhaps by the end of that conversation, you’d also have a new angle on a subject and a desire to learn more about the facts and history behind an issue.
Now the thought of engaging with others—on any political topic, in any format—makes any sane person want to run for the hills. Too many people just regurgitate crap they read on Twitter or see on cable. They figure out the party line, the correct ideological position to take, or the right person to demonize and repeat it without any doubts. Few people ever challenge their own thinking in any fundamental manner. And you almost never learn anything new from high profile political debates featuring candidates, activists, media personalities, or parties. In fact, you’re likely to come away less informed from these public performance pieces than if you had just watched your morning bagel toast for a few minutes. You’re better off reading a book or catching a game or listening to music or praying or whatever it is that provides some true meaning and insight to you—delivered and experienced in a relatively calm manner.
This past week of idiotic and self-righteous statements from politicians and leaders about the Chauvin verdict exemplifies the sorry state of public debate in America. People couldn’t keep their mouths shut on the left or right for an even an hour and used the death of Floyd and conviction of Chauvin as another proof point in their ideological crusade...."
Read the rest at The Liberal Patriot!

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