While drinking my second cup of coffee this morning, I read three posts that touch in one way or another on the way political discourse is being conducted in America.
Katherine Mangu-Ward (who is editor-in-chief at Reason) has a piece at the NYT called When Smug Liberals Met Conservative Trolls.
Modern American political discourse can seem disjointed to the point of absurdism. But the problem isn’t just filter bubbles, echo chambers or alternative facts. It’s tone: When the loudest voices on the left talk about people on the right as either beyond the pale or dupes of their betters, it is with an air of barely concealed smugness. Right-wingers, for their part, increasingly respond with a churlish “Oh, yeah? Hold my beer,” and then double down on whatever politically incorrect sentiment brought on the disdain in the first place.
David French has a post at NRO titled Civility Isn’t Surrender.
Consider how often our political discourse is wildly out of proportion to the actual stakes of any given controversy. Tax cuts kill. Conservatism is fascism. There’s a “war on women.” Every single election is “the most important in the nation’s history.” There’s so much hysteria and nonsense in public debate that it can be difficult to discern actual emergencies when they genuinely arise.
When you combine humility, conviction, and a sense of proportion, civility is the typical result. And that form of civility is anything but surrender. In fact, I’d argue that in the long run it’s the path to ideological expansion, not retreat. It’s the path to becoming a reliable, trustworthy communicator. It’s the best way to get a hearing outside your tribe, and it still leaves room for righteous, necessary anger — while choosing its targets carefully.
Sarah Hoyt has a post at According to Hoyt called Come the Revolution.
But then the revolution came, and it wasn’t what the left expected.
It’s going to get very very bad. The people who spend their lives in the beatific hope that “come the revolution” they’d be on top, are getting old, and they haven’t got their shiny red wagon. In fact, it’s becoming obvious they never will.
They’re going to try to grab for the silver
ring rattle as hard as they can. It might even mean the cold civil war goes hot.
Read all three.
It would be interesting to find an effective balance between these three points of view. The comment section is open for discussion.