By David Martin
Editor 

Yearning for better political discourse

 

September 5, 2018



I had an interesting experience a few weeks ago. I was involved in a political conversation between people of differing political beliefs and it was surprisingly pleasant.

In 2018, political discourse, especially amongst people who support different parties, can erupt into a fiery argument at the drop of a hat. Feelings get hurt, intelligence is challenged and relationships can be ruined over a simple disagreement over who is a better election choice or what is best for local, state and federal government.

I blame the Internet. Mind you, I’m not saying the internet is a complete mistake, it certainly isn’t. However, it would seem that in breaking down barriers in regards to communication and access to information, it’s safe to say the Internet also has broken people’s ability to engage in civil discourse.

Part of the problem is the distance from our brains to our keyboards is a lot shorter than we realize. It’s amazingly easy to shoot a comment about something from the hip and just carry on. It’s just as easy to say someone is mentally challenged because their ideals don’t mesh with your own. It’s the internet, who cares, right?


That’s the mentality that infects the Internet and makes it the cesspool much of it has become. It’s safe to say there’s a problem when people who have known each other for years say some of the harshest things to one another when it comes to politics. It’s an odd dichotomy where people behave one way in “real life” and completely different online.

Almost as if most people have resigned themselves to the mistaken belief that what is said and done online doesn’t reflect how the person acts outside the Internet.

Whether or not that is the case, that’s a better question for a psychologist or sociologist to answer. That one isn’t in my wheelhouse.

However, I can say it was nice to sit and chat about politics in a relaxed atmosphere without the name calling so often seen online.

 

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