The breakdown in civility makes me sad for our country. But we can take note of a few key reasons why it's happening.
Over the last few months I've been spending several hours every day doing my self-assigned homework. Part of what I've paid attention to is the rhetoric on the left.
It's not a pretty sight. The so-called defenders of open-mindedness and acceptance, the people who so deplore racism and assaults against civil liberties, launch-- hands down-- the most illogical, vehement, hateful venom imaginable. I've never seen it like this. Are we suddenly a nation of racists and class-divided zealots? Or is there a force at work goading people on?
One of the most striking aspects of this raging ideological war is the unapologetic lack of cogent arguments from the liberal camp to facts and conclusions put forth by the conservative camp. Present a series of historical facts, and a logical argument based on those facts, and you're not going to get a solid point-by-point rebuttal. You could hold your breath until you're purple and it just won't happen, because it can't.
We wait patiently to hear either that certain facts are incorrect, or that the logical conclusion based on those facts is itself flawed. Or perhaps be presented with an effective argument that despite the facts being acknowledged as correct as well as the logic, that there are overriding facts and solid logic that must prevail instead.
It doesn't happen.
What does happen, at best, is you are treated to a series of broad generalities, a smattering of emotional anecdotes and a few character assassinations for good measure. I've seen this again and again. Prepare an article, letter, or document outlining the history of economic policies, fully footnoted by reputable sources, and nobody is going to bother to refute any of it with any specificity because it's impossible to do so. Point out the futility and danger of cowtowing to our enemies, making your case by citing history, and prepare yourself for a straw-man argument instead, one unrelated to your actual points but delivered as if it refutes what you're saying.
Nowhere is the lack of clear thinking so obvious as when the problems with the democrat candidate himself are pointed out. So determined are people to believe in this man that they will ignore the stunning preponderance of damning evidence and danger signs... and build a shrine to him instead.
Without blinking an eye.
Any one of the outrageous problems with this candidate should have been enough to give people serious pause, but the messiah machine sees to it that facts are seen as irrelevant. Hatred of the right is encouraged.
For every occasional creepy pathetic skinhead poisoning the debate from within conservative ranks, there are hundreds of screaming liberals photoshopping blood onto our faces and using the foulest language imaginable. Evidence of this lopsidedness is so abundant there is absolutely no contest here. Any casually interested party can confirm this for themselves by spending just a short time online reading blogs and posts.
And while this seething rage and gleeful namecalling is no doubt meant to be the measure of their passion and committment to their beliefs, it displays a ghastly disregard for honest debate and an underlying hatred so pathological that it stops all hope of civility dead in its tracks.
What all this deliberatedly incited hubris means-- everything from snide ad hominem editorials to redfaced streams of obscenities-- is there's no firm grasp on reality. You can't mount a clear, logical argument when there isn't one.
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If there is to be any progress towards civility and rationality, root causes need to be addressed. We need to shed light on the postmodern beliefs that erode society. Fight the ignorance of the dangers presented by our enemies. Guard against the willing dismissal of history. Acknowledge the spiritual vacuum that all too easily invites a candidate to step in and be deified. Rid our society of its irrational self-loathing. Call out the outrageous liberal control of education and media. Not insignificantly, we need to wake up to the tragic suppression of low income black America by the democrat party, the people who are (ironically) served so poorly by the democrat candidate and his policies. Failed ideologies shouldn't even occur to people any longer except as cautionary tales. Be ever mindful of signs of growing fascism, knowing that this grows out of socialism, not capitalism. We are always free to examine alternatives, but if they don't make some kind of basic sense, we should be wise enough not to seriously consider them.
We supporters of the Constitution have our work cut out for us.
Honesty, ethics, and courage to name and face our enemies must overcome postmodern self-destruction. In economics and foreign affairs we must be willing and able to learn from history and act accordingly. Our hearts and emotions show us where the problems are, but clear, rational minds must address them.
But don't expect a lot of support for this idea from the left. They're too busy screaming, fainting, cheering, mocking, damning, and lighting candles.
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