Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Civil Discourse, The Lack Thereof

Yes, I've been over to Quick Meme again. I did not create the above, someone else did. So, thank you, "Someone Else".

I was actually looking for a good graphic to go with the topic of today's post. Which I should introduce with a definition from the 
Civil discourse is engagement in discourse (conversation) intended to enhance understanding.
Kenneth J. Gergen describes civil discourse as "the language of dispassionate objectivity", and suggests that it requires respect of the other participants, such as the reader. It neither diminishes the other's moral worth, nor questions their good judgment; it avoids hostility, direct antagonism, or excessive persuasion; it requires modesty and an appreciation for the other participant's experiences.
In Book III of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), John Locke contrasts between civil and philosophical discourse (or rhetorical discourse) with the former being for the benefit of the reader, and the public good:
“First, By, their civil use, I mean such a communication of thoughts and ideas by words, as may serve for the upholding common conversation and commerce, about the ordinary affairs and conveniences of civil life, in the societies of men, one amongst another.
Secondly, By the philosophical use of words, I mean such a use of them as may serve to convey the precise notions of things, and to express in general propositions certain and undoubted truths, which the mind may rest upon and be satisfied with in its search after true knowledge. These two uses are very distinct; and a great deal less exactness will serve in the one than in the other, as we shall see in what follows.”
My point being, in today's society we seem completely unable to discuss the issues of the day without getting overly emotional about it. Is it because we are "more stupid"? I do know that many people in the world now-a-days have no manners at all. We are definitely a "ruder" society than when I was a kid. Why is that?

Now what sent me down this road? (You may be asking yourselves. Or not. I'll answer the question anyway.) Over at Well, Oh Yeah!!!, Ivan Toblog's Monday post set me to thinking. (Not always a good idea perhaps, but seeing as how I've started, might as well finish.) It seems that we are allowing a$$holes to dominate the national debate. Particularly the a$$holes who have access to a camera and a microphone, financed by advertisers.

This is also something which has bothered me for quite some time now. The so-called "news" outlets, are NOT reporting news anymore. It's all about ratings. Who can get more people to watch their "news" program? Who can sell more stuff? It's all a bunch of crap I tell you.

In our cafeteria at work we have television monitors which are normally showing CNN. Not that long ago, this was a really good source of what was going on in the world. It still is from time to time. Giving credit where credit is due, their coverage of the Papal election was pretty good. Their coverage of that lunatic ex-cop out in California was alright, though a bit overboard at times.

But mixed in with the "news" is a lot of fluff. Who really cares who went to Hugo Chavez's funeral? All we really needed to know is that the a$$hole was dead. (Where will Joe Kennedy get his cheap oil now?)

On days with really hard news, it seems that CNN brings out their A-Team, the rest of the time it's a bunch of pretty boys and girls. I mean seriously, to be a journalist you have to be good-looking?

At any rate, too many networks (and I include Fox) have some ranting blowhard on, raving about what a bunch of ba$tards those Democrat/Republicans are. Of course, some times we actually get a politician on there to rant and rave. Usually it's a Democrat, sometimes it's a RINO (Republican In Name Only), seldom is it an actual conservative politician.

But the national discourse is now at the point of an "Us Versus Them" mentality. It sucks, it truly sucks. Most people aren't like that, yes some are, but not the majority. I think that if you get away from the cities you might meet more reasonable people.

We need to all take a deep breath, calm down and talk like rational, reasonable adults. Let's leave the school-yard antics to the elementary school-age kids and the blowhards in Washington. As Americans, let's grow up and figure out the best way ahead for this great nation.

Then we can get rid of ALL the current office holders in Washington and put some real people in there. It's time we dumped our professional politicians. They are there for their own benefit, not ours. They will tell us whatever they think we want to hear in order to stay in office. We need folks who will view politics as a dirty chore that has to get done, then they go back to doing their real work. Kinda like the legislature in Texas.

I pray this is not why the national discourse is what it is. There are days that I am less and less sure that evil is not behind this current mess.

Like Ivan Toblog, I'm sick of this crap!


  1. Sarge - you moronic, simpleton, right-winged, Neanderthal! Do you have any idea what you are friggin talking abo...wait...oh...Actually I agree with you 100%

    Never mind.

    Good point about Joe Kennedy I will call him names. Well maybe just one...SELLOUT!!

  2. Back in the day when I first began reading blogs... say around 2003 - 2004... I used to make daily stops at the leading lefty and righty political blogs. I pretty much quit reading the lefties when BDS became all the rage (heh) and I quit reading the wing-nuts (for the most part) about a year ago, or perhaps shortly after that debacle we called a "presidential election" last November. It just seems to be SSDD to me. Every day, all day.

    Yeah, I'm fed up, too. Your point about getting out o' the cities is a valid one, though. There ain't NEAR as much BS out here in the Great Wide Open. Or so it seems.

    1. I try, and try hard, to consider all points of view, well those that are somewhat fact-based anyway. I would like to be (a la Fox) "fair and balanced" but it's hard. "This Ain't Hell" has a weekly post with links to the Democratic Underground (I think it's called) but I stopped reading those because the taste of vomit was getting to me. The things some people believe are beyond the pale. And you're right, to the morons running the country it is SSDD. When Newt Gingrich congratulated the Wun, I lost ALL faith in the RINOs. The Repubs don't get it, we don't WANT Democrat-Lite.

      Your point about the Great Wide Open is well taken. My son lives in California, near Modesto. It's pretty rural. He says he can talk politics with his neighbors there, most of whom work for a living, pay taxes and are therefore somewhat conservative. When he's at work (close by San Francisco) he says talks about politics are avoided like the plague. The area seems to be heavily populated with wild-eyed liberal pinko fanatics who think Dianne Freakin' Feinstein is the Second Coming.

      When will people learn that moderation in all things is healthy in every way?

      Sigh, 'tis to weep it is.

    2. I COULD go on about my 2+ years in SFO and how I was one of only three conservatives in the whole gotdamned company (srsly: me and the two others counted), but I won't. Yer welcome.

    3. Color me not surprised. Only three? Damn, that is statistically insignificant I'm betting.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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