Thursday, June 22, 2017

Civil Dialog: Updated

(post brought about by a comment from Shelly that made me think).

Civil Dialog has gone by the wayside.

That is too bad. Because we can't carry on a civil dialog anymore, and so we can barely talk to each other. We can barely even tolerate each other. In this atmosphere we cannot work to a common outcome.

For a rabid few Americans, the idea of civil dialog has been dead for a long time. Personally I saw it happen on the right side of the political spectrum on shows like Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and some others. On those broadcasts, people that disagreed with them were trashed with de-humanizing monikers and were considered stupid. Michael Savage called them sub-humans.

There were, on the other hand, many many right political actors that did not demonize the other side. Dennis Prager, Bill O'Reilly and others. They disagreed with liberals, but didn't attack their right to exist.

I am sure that people on the right could point to Liberals that did the same thing in the olden days (Stephanie Miller?) - I just don't know of them (and didn't listen to them).

However, in order to get ratings, more mainstream groups began using less civil terms. Ann Coulter made a fortune by being uncivil. Slowly Presidents were not respected. Clinton was a murderer. Bush was an idiot. Obama was a Kenyan Muslim.

This has culminated, I think, with Donald Trump's candidacy. Candidate Trump was not just dismissive of Democrats and Republican opponents of his, but was crude and derogatory. And people enjoyed it, the media ran it and the process fed on itself. Other candidates began hurling insults (Hillary and her Deplorables comment).

Now normal Americans feel free to hurl these insults at each other. And doing so, it immediately blocks other from listening to your point. So.. getting people to listen to your points is no longer possible. Let's say that I make a reasonable point - and someone listens to me. If some other person agrees with me, but uses offensive language, then that point, and all others go away.

We need to be able to talk.

This isn't about being "politically correct", it is about being polite.

Update: I am guilty of this as well, and shall endeavor to stop it going forward. Feel free to call me out when I blow it.

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