Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why There Can Be No Honest Debate

A couple days ago, I touched on how you could tell when a person was spouting pure ideology and was not to be trusted. I would like to dig a little deeper into that subject because I came across a comment today that is a perfect illustration. The article itself concerned universal healthcare, but that is not of particular interest to this discussion. It could have been about almost anything and this same comment might have occurred.
A commentor who described himself as a dissatisfied Democrat (he in fact described modern Democrats as "a bunch of venal money-grubbers") went on to explain that he voted for Democrats because of what they used to stand for: "Be nice to one's mom and your friends, help the poor, educate the children ..." In the very next paragraph, however, he calls up "memories" of the Republicans: "instigate wars for profit, shut out the middle class and below with proven-to-have failed fallacies ... Vilify non-Christians ..." Does anyone else see a discrepancy here?
Please don't think that I am singling out a Democrat here. If I went hunting, I have no doubt that I could find identical themed comments from Republicans and I will gladly stipulate that the problem is rampant on both sides. I am quoting this one because I was not hunting and yet there it was, in plain sight.
Keep in mind that the person who made this comment was presenting himself as the voice of reason and claimed to be trying to engage a Republican in an honest and open discussion. If this was reasonable, honest, or open I would hate to see how this person conceived of the opposite.
What bothers me even more, though, is that, in eight pages of additional comments, not one person (including, unfortunately, the Republican to whom the comment was addressed) challenged this commenter on this blatant mischaracterization. Such hyperbolic distortions are taken as a matter of course these days and that is why it is so difficult (if not impossible) to have an honest debate or discussion.
So long as both sides continue to insist on maintaining such slander about the other, there can be no improvement in the ways our country operates. The status quo will remain the same and We The People will continue to be the losers. It doesn't hurt the politicians in the least. The status quo maintains their pay checks and their control. So long as there is no honest discussion there can be no honest solutions and politicians will continue to push dishonest solutions while blaming the other side for not being able to do better. Both sides are guilty and neither side is more guilty than the other. If you are not aware of that, you are not paying attention. Or you are buying into the dishonesty and are directly a part of the problem.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I reiterate: I wonder, on occasion, just what would happen to our government and the people (yes, i am using this term loosely) who pretend to run/live in it, if they were required to be respectful, polite and.. *gasp* use common sense.
    Maybe I should add "use honesty" to my list?