No, really, serious talk? Can we talk, reasonably and rationally, about serious topics?
No, we can’t.
Abortion used to be the big topic that was always devoid of rationality. You could pop in and out of abortion forums over several years and it was always the same few people screaming the same points at each other. I know, because I did that on Usenet (remember Usenet?) roughly 15 to 20 years ago off and on over several years. Nothing ever changed, not the people, not the arguments, and especially not the results. The same people still held the same opinions. No one ever really heard a single word that people on the opposing side ever said. Abortion has always been the great wasteland of intelligent discourse.
But that was a long time ago, oh, say, 15 to 20 years ago. Today, it seems everything has become so hyper-partisan that we can’t discuss anything anymore. Immigration, taxes, race, gun control, and now gender issues and sexual assault. Hell, even “taking a knee” has people virtually screaming at each other. It’s never ending anymore. It’s understandable when people say they’ve had enough of politics, even though the issues are vitally important.
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I characterize the current atmosphere. People are literally starting Facebook threads by telling people in no uncertain terms to unfriend them if they don’t agree. I get that the issue(s) are important, both to you and in fact, but this isn’t helping. All you’re doing is widening the divide. You’re not shaming people who disagree with you, as I believe you think you are, you’re ensuring that we will not be making any progress anytime soon because conversation has been cut off.
Not that we’d be making any progress with everybody blindly and stubbornly digging in their heels, anyway.
We’d all do well to keep the following rules in mind, if we truly and honestly want to make progress on the serious issues of the day…
I’ll admit this can be tough. We’ve all been conditioned to do this as a matter of course. If you follow all of these ten commandments, then how do you debate? Well, one thing is to argue the issues and not the other person. If your position is righteous, it will stand on it’s own. No need for debate parlor tricks.
And please, stop with the name calling. That’s pretty much a concession of defeat. You have nowhere else to go.