A PLEA FOR REASONED DISCOURSE FROM ANOTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE

One of the breakthroughs we’re finding in this world of blogging is the emergence of original voices that would otherwise never appear in the larger commercial-media market. Many of them are quite better than some of the nationally syndicated newspaper columnists we’re seeing these days and definitely those vacuous suits on Fox News. Or should I start with my surprise that my own postings get reactions from so many other countries rather than just the USA, as my previous training would have anticipated? That, in itself, is a revelation.

Add to that the range of perspectives that become available, especially through the WordPress Reader as we follow fellow bloggers. Each day, I tap into a world of fellow spirits, from beginner writers to the highly advanced. It’s quite a community of discourse!

My wife has her own circles of bloggers she reads more or less daily. As she says, “I’m very interested in interesting people who think differently than me,” and that ranges far beyond her thoughts of gardening, cooking, and – well, let’s leap ahead to radical education and home-schooling. It’s become a joy to sit together each morning as we peruse the Web and then read aloud to each other passages we find especially insightful.

One of her favorites is the bearing blog by a devout, conservative Roman Catholic mother in the Twin Cities who would initially appear miles apart from us in our daily lives.

But two recent posts have my utmost endorsement.

The first introduced me to the term “cultural bundling,” in which people assume if you take position X, you favor or oppose a whole stream of other issues. In this case, it was her reluctance to put a bumper sticker on her car – any bumper sticker – even if this one was Black Lives Matter. For her, such brief statements lead to stereotyping that has prejudicial consequences and that, in turn, hampers efforts to resolve issues in public. Put another way, a lot of blind intolerance can flash into play, and I know it comes from both the right and left side of the political divide. As I’ve felt all too well, my liberal circles can be embarrassingly close-minded and even nasty in some of their assumptions. It’s not all “them,” after all.

E.G. Arlinghaus presents her rational in her post, “A Little Knowledge.”

A more recent post tears into a subtle flaw in the argument of “voting for the lesser of two evils.” To my surprise, her deft and conscientious examination takes its stand from a nuanced argument in Roman Catholic ethical and political thinking. Take a look at what she has to say about “Intrinsic” matters.

Her own observations on the importance of nuanced thinking resonate with me. Throughout my career as a newspaper editor I fought for longer articles, whenever possible and deserving, even if that meant cutting many other dispatches into briefs. For me, the “why” and “how” could be more important than the who-what-when-and-where specifics or posturing.

For example, from my side, pro-life does not necessarily mean pro-abortion but rather an acknowledgement that back-alley abortions lead to the deaths and mutilation of desperate pregnant women without any similar consequences for the men who put them in this condition.

It’s a huge difference, one that looks at the consequences of policy.

Arlinghaus’ detailing, based on a piece by Bishop Flores of Brownsville, Texas, admits the nitty-gritty realities of politics and conflicts of conscience but turns the argument in new ways.

Hope this helps.

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4 thoughts on “A PLEA FOR REASONED DISCOURSE FROM ANOTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE

  1. Being nothing more than a knuckle dragging old man when I first entered the world of blogging where for me used merely as a world of communication to my family thousands of miles away, but over the years my mind has been broadened by many delicious and diverse postings. This exposure has me, an uneducated non-writer creating postings about subjects far afield from where I started.

  2. Blogging is truly an opportunity to toss our ideas and interests out there. To me, it means that I can express my views and show off my photography and writing….and the advantage is that my audience has individual rights to read my stuff or ignore me. Whatever, my views are optional.

  3. As a blogger myself ( mikenowandthen.wordpress.com ) I find with you that the variety of viewpoints is fascinating and valuable. I’m a bit dismayed at myself for writing so much of Trump these past few months, but I’ve studied with some care Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his work in Nazi Germany. It is creepy to see how very much like the Hitler of the early 30s is Trump. reporters are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of nonsense in the Trump camp, in part because they keep trying to find some level of moral sensitivity in him. I do not believe that level exists, so their efforts to “trap” him into an apology or retraction is fruitless. Meanwhile, I find so much goodness in America, so much health and hope, that I do not think we’re in our eleventh hour. Your blog alone is one of the signs of hope.

  4. loved reading your post. You are absolutely write. We read here words that come directly from heart, pure ,clean and true unbiased
    I’m grateful to this electronic technology that has helped us know so many good people around the world who care and share——- wishing you peace, light and bright blessings

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