Cory Leonard

What’s Civility Worth?

In politics on March 12, 2011 at 6:11 am

A better response to those amigos, amigas, and so-called “Friends” who take over my Facebook to rant, argue, and push for a rise in others blood pressure:

The problem is that an argument can be both civil and rational and still not be fair. Sure, it’s more civil for the GOP to publish misleading policy papers than it is for Sarah Palin to affix crosshairs to a map of congressional districts. Is that what the folks calling for civility really want? As Paul Krugman pointed out in a recent column, “All [Republicans] ever needed or wanted were some numbers and charts to wave at the press, fooling some people into believing that we’re having some kind of rational discussion. We aren’t.”

And then:

 

They don’t understand that civility won’t help debate, because they don’t understand that “debate” is just politicians taking turns issuing sound bites meant for members of their own base, not as persuasive points attempting to sway the other party. The halls of Congress are not a place where two sides look at an agreed-upon set of facts and then debate the best way forward. Much of the debate is about the facts themselves.

Like it or not, facts do exist. The question that’s worth exploring is not how can we make our political discourse more civil. It’s how can we make sure that it is a productive conversation rooted in those facts. Because agreeing to disagree might be a way to survive an awkward Christmas dinner, but it’s no way to run a country.

 

via What’s Civility Worth?.

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