On productive political discussion

The signal-to-noise ratio of political blogs and Usenet political newsgroups would soar if their participants would remember this simple point:

The world is full to the gills with stupid people who say awful things on the Internet. Pointing this out doesn’t constitute a political argument.

One of the downsides of the multitude of social cliques that David Brooks enthuses about is that (as Brooks himself notes) we need know nothing about the people in the cliques we don’t belong to.

We make this problem even worse if, when we do choose to engage the people and ideas of another clique, we engage the worst people and the nonsensical arguments of that clique rather than its best people and its compelling arguments.

I speak from sad experience when I say: Self-respect gained so cheaply is worth little.

2 Responses to “On productive political discussion”

  1. PubliusTX Weblog Says:

    Raging Blogging Fools

    This post over at The Trailing Edge is thought provoking.

    Most political weblogs are polemical, and I would go further to suggest that even more personal weblogs are as well (this one certainly …

  2. scott Says:

    Obviously, this very good point is amplified ten-fold when the subject is faith/religion…

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