Liberal Is Not a Four Letter Word

Much has been made of the coarsening of dialogue within America. What this refers to is the growing lack of courtesy between people discussing topics of interest. It used to be that more often than not one could politely agree to disagree. That seems to be going by the wayside as more people find it easier to fling mud and call their fellow some sort of derogatory name.

Part of out the outcome of this is that some people now think that it is appropriate to use terms like "liberal" and "conservative" as if they were four letter words. I find this to be a very sad commentary on who and what our society is becoming.

During recent disagreements on various blogs I have been told that the problems with the world are because of my kind. It is an offensive way to try and argue. I have a pretty thick skin so more often than not I ignore such foolish rhetoric because the real reason that the personal attacks begin is because the other person lacks substance. If these disagreements were taking place in person you can bet that the person voicing such foolishness would also be shouting. For some reason they seem to think that if they yell loudly it gives their words more power when all it really does is provide more evidence that they haven't any substantive comments to offer.

What I would like to see happen is for there to be a return to a discussion of the facts and for more people to realize that it is ok to disagree. There are relatively few areas in which you can say that there is only one right way to do things. More often than not there are multiple paths that one can choose from.

Unfortunately I am not real optimistic about this. Right now there is so much anger and distrust that I suspect it will take some time before we reach a place in which people are willing to relax again. I hope that I am proven wrong.


8 comments:

Shlomo Leib Aronovitz said...

The union of religion and politics is the root of this venom. The reich wing believes that they have 'god' on their side, and where 'god' prevails int he mind, causes, effects, and reality become skewed.

For example, the reality based view would say that poverty in the US is caused by a combination of inadequate educational opportunities, the rising costs of basic needs, overall loss of jobs, and the slashing of social programs. The religious reich, however, believes that poverty is caused by abortion and homosexuality. Although direct correlations can be made for the reality-based assupmtions, the latter have no such foundation.

They have to yell. It's the only way anyone will pay attention. Their position has to be forced, since it cannot be assimilated rationally.

Robbie said...

Huh. And here I thought the world's problems were because of my kind.

(Which I suppose is true, since I'm also a liberal - and proud of it.)

The Misanthrope said...

While I am happy to see Tom DeLay disappear, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Once the Democrats get into power they too will have to be watched. To address the problem very generally, I believe we need a viable third party to spread the money out so no one can get too rich.

Jack Steiner said...

SLA,

Extremists on the left and right are responsible for many of our ills. It is sad to say that all this yelling is required to make anything happen.

Robbie,

Yes, you are responsible for the moral decline of the US and the reason why the Cubs will never win. ;)

Misanthrope,

A real third party would be great, but I am not going to hold my breath.

Robbie said...

That's surprisingly fine by me.

I'm a Red Sox fan. The Cubs do nothing but create traffic in my neighborhood!

cruisin-mom said...

Jack, I know exactly who and what you are speaking of, and I personally was so blown away by this tact of commenting that I stayed away from this particular blog for two days. (which you know I visit consistently). It is unneccessary name-calling, stooping low, hateful, and angry. It saddens me tremendously. I think people have a right to different viewpoints and all should be put out there for review. But when the name calling starts, that's where I walk out.
(and I notice that you're questions have still not been answered)

... Is the Window to Our Soul said...

CM, you shouldn't be surprised.

Jack Steiner said...

Robbie,

You know a person only needs so many challenges in life. Why be a Sox fan when you know they will disappoint you.

Randi,

And they won't be answered because some people haven't the tools to fight fair. It is easy to yell and hard to admit that you are wrong.

Hi Jaime.

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