“God” speed to m’colleague who has traversed the oceans to prepare his next message to you fine people. He is in the Land of the Free in order to carefully prepare his second, much-anticipated musing on the nature of moral relativism. As well he might, because something is afoot over there. Yes, thanks to the inauguration of a (relatively) liberal Democrat president, it’s crazy right-wing morning again in
I refer mainly to the current desire on the part of some in the media to liken Mr Obama and his healthcare policies to that of the vilest dictator who ever lived. Classy.
Civility in political discourse makes me happy. I like it when people disagree, but are pleasant, engaging, friendly and informative while doing so. God knows, m’colleague and I don’t agree on everything (the things I could tell you about his voting record) and yet by our arguing, debating and discussing I know I am far better informed, and far more sure of my own arguments than I would otherwise be.
It is perfectly proper, and indeed comforting, that the right wing, including the Republican Party, opposes what President Obama is trying to achieve with his healthcare reform. It is expected also that the GOPs allies in the media including Fox News and Rush Limbaugh should support them and oppose Obama. It is not expected, or acceptable, for them to liken the President’s desire to stop millions of Americans being uninsured as fascist or Nazi-like.
Do I really need to point out that German Nazis murdered 3 million people in extermination camps and that Mr Obama is seeking to save people’s lives? Do I really?
By virtue of the name-calling and virtual hair-pulling it seems to me that the Right have certainly conceded the high ground and the argument too. Godwin’s Law is not always applicable (sometimes a Nazi analogy is apt) but it is in this case. If you invoke Hitler, you better have a bloody good reason.
All of this characteristic blather is to say that we should be nice to each other in our political discourse. It is likely that no political discussion in the
Civility, in other words, is almost a duty of the media.
It is time to name names. Joe Scarborough is an MSNBC morning anchor and a conservative opposed to the President’s agenda. His discussions, though, are lively, interesting and useful to the American public. He brings people in who agree with him and who disagree and he has spoken out (on Twitter in particular) again these vicious attacks, while pointing out the substantive reasons for his opposition. I bet my TV buddy, Tucker Carlson, would do the same if he were still anchoring. And the wonderful liberal Rachael Maddow uses her platform to bring to light the President’s aims and to broadly support them, while pointing out the deficiencies in the Right’s position. (Caveat: Maddow is utterly and completely wrong on Afghanistan -- a subject for another time)
Sometimes, anger and hatred can be entertaining, and occasionally useful for example the Galloway vs Hitchens debate on
By the way, we are not opposed to a bit of blog-based hatred, so if you want to shout abuse at us in the comments (I’m looking at you, “Dave Fishwick”) please feel free!