Sunday, September 13, 2009

Point - Counterpoint

Civility in discourse is a lost art form. It seems like a concept suited to another time and age. Recent discussions have been particularly animated and ugly. All pretense has vanished in a stream of accusations. Of course, I am merely referring to the comments that footnote many of the posts on my blog.

Well, I have decided to go Obama. I am going to try an experiment with a friend of mine who has been a consistent reader, and a mostly consistent critic of my political ruminations. I have extended my hand and am opening the pages of this blog for some joint postings with him. I have suggested that we do a point-counterpoint on topics of the moment. He has graciously accepted.

Instead of your always getting my viewpoint and then deciding whether to click on the comment section if you wish to read what those in the 'no' are thinking, you will have right and wrong together at once.

My son and some of my friends are drawn to watch or listen to those on the right who seem to gather the most attention, like Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh. They are bewitched, bothered and bewildered by what they hear and I tell them just to turn it off. But, truth be known, that is just me being intellectually lazy. To be dismissive of 'the other' does no good, and does not bring the argument any closer to resolution.

So, like the President, I will try to open my mind (and my blog) to the possibilities that maybe there is another way to look at certain issues. I know you may be thinking that this is just a sign of weakness, almost like deciding to hold talks with countries who have repeatedly held us, or our views, in disregard. Well, I have always been an advocate of such discussions. I cannot be a hypocrite in the way I handle my own conversations.

In the days and weeks ahead, look for 2 old guys shaking hands and coming out swinging on these pages. I will be easy to recognize. I am the one with the halo over my head.


Jared Alessandroni said...


(just getting ready for the counterpoint)

Robert said...

Now, now, let's not jump to conclusions.


Dr. No said...

To quote rep. Joe Wilson (and Jared who has stolen a piece of my thunder): "You Lie." Civility in discourse is not a lost art form at all. It merely lies dormant awaiting 2 old guys to bring it back. As you can see, I'm already doing my part in that regard. For you it's a magnanimous gesture, and a sign of true strength of character, extending your hand and exposing your underbelly to potentially vicious attack from one who has been a consistent critic. Now that you have decided to open your mind ( an event I hitherto thought occurred only once a year, i.e. February 30th) on the occasions we do battle, your readers will get the left and correct together, not the "right and wrong."
It's also particularly refreshing for you to confess to your intellectual indolence, something I've been pointing out repeatedly in this space of late. Now that you've made the commitment to turn over a new leaf so to speak, your readers should expect some lively and exciting debate. Let's hope we can provide it.

Robert said...

We should each walk 20 paces, turn and start firing. May the best man win (and we all know who that is).