Have Americans lost the ability to rationally discuss political ideas and differences..
Have Americans lost the ability to rationally discuss political ideas and differences or have we become a nation of rhetoric, extremism and rudeness?
Absolutely! When I listen to people talk about politics, I find they cannot see the other persons perspective at all. They are blinded by their own rigidness. When they can't convince you that they are correct, they resort to personal attacks. 'If you don't see it my way then there must be something wrong with you.'
This may truely be the only bipartisan issue. It seems this is how it is for both (all?) parties.
Somewhere I learned that mature individuals can: Entertain themselves, Entertain others, and Entertain a new idea. We have no mature individuals in politics.
Did we ever have it? I don't know if any ability has been lost but we definitely don't have the public space for rational debate. Media outlets which focus on non-partisan debate between different opinions are virtually non-existent. Most of the media simply acts as echo chambers parroting sound clips and rhetoric to the point that they drown out everything else.
We take our news like we take our food: the nutritional value buried beneath a few thousand instantly gratifying calories of sauces and deep-fried skins. It's tough to break that cycle. It's tough to choose the salad over the cheeseburger, especially when people are hurting and want comfort more than they want to be thoughtful.
And so people gravitate to the media station that says what makes them feel good and think little, thereby reinforcing the poor choices on the menu, until we are a country that makes decisions based on who shouts the loudest and our politicians are mere cheerleaders urging them on.
America has always been a society of "rhetoric, extremism and rudeness."
As examples, the folks who protested the British's taxes by carrying out the "Boston Tea Party" were a bunch of rhetoric-spouting, rude extremists; the individuals who ignited the Revolutionary War were a bunch of rhetoric spouting, rude extremists; the Americans who were opposed to slavery were a bunch of rhetoric-spouting, rude extremists; many of the people who crusaded for blacks' civil rights and equal rights were rhetoric-spouting, rude extremists, and I could go on.
Thus, the fact that America is still a "nation of rhetoric, extremism and rudeness" is strong indication that the country is alive and well. The U.S. has not become a place like North Korea, or a society in which everyone is required, by law, to always be courteous and to keep his/her mouth shut.
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