I understand that the commentary in the thread of a recent post (The smallness of the haters on the left) has become pretty acrimonious. I have not followed the thread nor do I intend to, but have heard from readers on both sides of the political aisle (some of my acquaintance) about the supposed quality of the discourse there.
I don’t write to allocate blame, but merely to make another plea for civil discourse — as I have seen both our defenders and our critics say some things about their ideological adversaries which have no basis in reality.
I just returned from a pleasant evening with the entertainment group of my alma mater’s alumni association and had a spirited debate with a wavering Obama supporter. He criticized conservatives; I found fault with his assumptions and arguments. I may not have changed his mind, but I did make him more open to the possibility of opposing Obama seven months (and a few weeks) hence. (The prospect of Rick Santorum not being the nominee makes my task a lot easier.)
Please, my friends, adopt the same goal as I have adopted — to change the minds of those who are now your ideological adversaries — and make them your allies in the struggle for freedom and prosperity.
Don’t engage in name-calling. Don’t use the comments to make assumptions about the private lives of those who criticize our arguments. Take issue with their points. You often compromise your own strong arguments when you stoop to the level of the Bill Maher wing of the Democratic Party.
And to our critics, know that we put forward our ideas in good faith. When you act in the manner of Mr. Maher you make it a heck of a lot easier for us to make our points.
*please, please, please.