Cooler Heads

I’d really like to write about politics since I think there is so much going on that’s grounds for an interesting discussion. But I won’t. Want to know why? It’s because I want you to finish reading my stuff and not dismiss it because of some political position I’ve taken.  It’s because too many folks get aggravated just by the thought of discussing political matters and that aggravation gets in the way of a productive discussion. It’s really interesting how a simple question about anything in current events can lead to polarized yelling.  People see their positions, not words,  and quit reading.  So while you may think there’s some political message coming, you’re wrong.

I have some close friends who are 180 degrees from where I am on things. Doesn’t matter who is where, we just disagree.   A lot.   Lately, we’ve stopped yelling long enough to agree to some ground rules:

  • We’ll stick to making factual assertions.  That means at least 2 independent sources who are not quoting one another.  Both the NY Times or MSNBC and Fox News count as sources but you need someone else to corroborate what they’re saying is factual.  You’d be shocked how often the facts seem to change one or both of our positions.  Internet rumors are checked out (Snopes, Politifact) before they’re brought into the discussion.
  • Hypocrisy disqualifies anyone’s argument.  Sort of like President Clinton lecturing on marital fidelity or Lieberman speaking on party loyalty.  If you’re citing someone else’s facts or position, they need not to have taken a contradictory position or demonstrated contradictory behavior for it to count.  So if you think the government should stay out of the free market you can’t take $250,000 in farm subsidies.  Get the idea?
  • We’re civil.  We often don’t agree, but we laugh while exchanging barbs.

Not bad things to bring to business either.  What do you think?

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1 Comment

Filed under Helpful Hints, Reality checks, Thinking Aloud

One response to “Cooler Heads

  1. defineraymond

    Absolutely perfect. I have been toying with a strict format I want to make myself follow when posting ANYTHING on the political realm and I have to say your points are not only spot on, but make me feel better about my guidelines (as there is a lot of overlap).

    I also try and use sources such as the BBC and CBO (when applicable).

    Thank god at least one other person is onboard.

    Ray

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