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The Degradation of Discourse and the Politicized Life


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the-degradation-of-discourse-and-the-politicized-lifeFree Beacon:

I couldn’t help but feel a bit of solidarity with Frank Luntz while reading this profile. Luntz is really depressed about the state of political discourse in this country. And he doesn’t have any idea what to do about it. The relevant paragraphs:


His side had lost. Mitt Romney had, in his view, squandered a good chance at victory with a strategically idiotic campaign. (“I didn’t work on the campaign. It just sucked, as a professional. And it killed me because I realized on Election Day that there’s nothing I can do about it.”) But Luntz’s side had lost elections before. His dejection was deeper: It was, he says, about why the election was lost. “I spend more time with voters than anybody else,” Luntz says. “I do more focus groups than anybody else. I do more dial sessions than anybody else. I don’t know s^#@ about anything, with the exception of what the American people think.”


It was what Luntz heard from the American people that scared him. They were contentious and argumentative. They didn’t listen to each other as they once had. They weren’t interested in hearing other points of view. They were divided one against the other, black vs. white, men vs. women, young vs. old, rich vs. poor. “They want to impose their opinions rather than express them,” is the way he describes what he saw. “And they’re picking up their leads from here in Washington.” Haven’t political disagreements always been contentious, I ask? “Not like this,” he says. “Not like this.”


As you may have guessed if you’re a reader of this blog, I sympathize quite a bit with Luntz. It’s one of the things I’ve been hitting at in my posts on the politicized life. Teams are chosen, lines are drawn, and enemies pronounced. Working through our differences is no longer the point: destroying those who are different is. The ways in which the different are destroyed vary. Sometimes the heretic is boycotted. Sometimes she is called upon to denounce her friends who have chosen a different lifestyle. The evil one is to be shunned by right-thinking people. The mob is to crush her, feast on her blood, impoverish her for her thought crimes.Scissors-32x32.png

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when I 1st went to Common Grounds Politics people talked to each other and not so much at each other. Sad to say after it came back it was not the case. sigh


Frank ran the best debate in the 2012 primaries. The candidate sat around a table and actually talked to each other and explained why they were running and why they should win.



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