Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

I Think The Shouters Have Won ... For Now

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Monday, April 12, 2010

I've been talking about staying engaged in the community, but I hit a brick wall over the weekend.

Here's the thing: I don't expect to turn anyone's opinion, nor do I want to. Good, civilized discussion of a topic means that all sides should be aired without fear of retribution or personal attack.

The shouters from all sides - those that adhere to the Gospel of Whomever Shouts The Loudest On TV - have co-opted intelligent, reasoned discussion. It's impossible to talk to someone who utterly fails to read the substance of even a short comment, instead scanning the text for their liberal or conservative trigger words and going off on their own tangents.

I'm tired of it.

It's not about being right. Oh, yes, it is. It's about being so right they can't admit when someone agrees with them for fear of losing face. It's about being so right that they blithely accuse the other side of Nazi tactics on one hand while doing their best to stamp out all thought that doesn't share their worldview on the other. (And I use "right" as a synonym for "correct" rather than a political term.)

It's insane.

Do people read books these days? It's easier to use Google and cherry pick whatever makes your point. The two of you who follow the blog know I've been reading a LOT of history books for research lately. It won't surprise anyone when I say that this current situation isn't new. What I have discovered is that a lot of people don't know what they hell they're talking about.

But why bother to read and discover that history is more complex than this movement or that war or the other economic upheaval. Why, when Google is your cherry orchard?

People, get off the interwebs and read a book. That's where I'm going.

Tags: Politics Life

Filed under: Politics   Life         


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