Sunday, March 05, 2006

We Need Debate, Not Derision

I came across an excellent post from Doug Dickerson

"The partisan rhetoric coming from the liberal and conservative camps is part of a vital open debate in our republic. Yet when the rhetoric of extreme partisans from both sides goes unchecked, the message and the messenger are somehow perceived as being credible, and that is dangerous.

"When Harry Belafonte stands beside an evil dictator in Venezuela and calls President Bush the worst terrorist in the world, the rhetoric is a dangerous lightning bolt of destruction. When Pat Robertson says (even when he later apologizes for saying) that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s life-threatening stroke is judgment from God, that is destructive. When Howard Dean says that race plays a factor in who receives help after Hurricane Katrina and who doesn’t, that is destructive. When Cindy Sheehan attends a protest in Caracas and says of Hugo Chavez, “I admire him for his resolve against my country,” that is certainly destructive.

"No doubt, the debate in America has grown increasingly destructive and personal. Differences of opinion and politics are now personal attacks rather than honest debates. Simply watch any cable news evening talk show and listen for civility. It’s increasingly hard to find."

Read the full post here. Highly recommended.

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