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December 21, 2014

What Happened to "Reasonable People Can Disagree?" [Y-not]

Recent events have led me to a troubling realization about the state of the GOP (to which I have belonged since 1980 and to which I still belong, but perhaps not for long) -- it is currently dominated by factions who apparently no longer subscribe to the "Reasonable People Can Disagree" theory of American politics.

I discovered this when my timeline was blasted with vitriol from a certain segment of political types whose mission is life is to destroy -- or at the very least marginalize -- Senator Ted Cruz. Here's a sample:

I like this one:

"Results" matter... except when they produce in a trillion dollar spending bill, I guess.

Go to Twitchy for a round up.

(A few days ago Ace had a terrific post about this latest Cruz incident. He is much more eloquent than I am so go read it.)

Now to be honest a lot of these folks are people whose accounts I had already "muted" (a most excellent feature of Twitter that I wish we had here, but I digress) from previous episodes of "base"-bashing and condescension and other nonsense, but after the Cruz stuff I "blocked" a bunch of them. Why? NOT because they dislike Cruz, but because they were attacking him using weak (to non-existent) arguments about Cruz's maneuver (and resorting to ad hominem attacks) with the type of vigor that should be reserved for Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama.

There were a few folks whose tweets did surprise me in terms of their negativity about Cruz but whom I did not block, primarily because everyone deserves a mulligan now and then... and also because the tone of their tweets was somewhat less incendiary. (I'm looking at you Sean Agnew! *wink*)

The problem with the barrage of (frankly, seemingly coordinated) attacks on Cruz last weekend was the folks making these tweets left no room to engage them in a discussion. In fact, I really only bothered to try to interact with a handful of anti-Cruz folks whose tweets (or past behavior) left room for discussion. Here's an example of what I encountered:

It's a very long thread and a lot of other folks joined in during the process but, amazingly, we were able to stay civil. Although we did not persuade each other, and I never really did get to the heart of what Stubbornly Me's objections were (he really could not cite specific examples of Cruz attacking other Republicans), at least we treated each other like fellow conservatives. In other words, we afforded each other the umbrella of respect of the "Reasonable People Can Disagree" philosophy.

Yesterday we had another incident, even more serious in many ways than the dreadful CRomnibus, and yet again I started seeing people from the Right tweeting (or writing blog posts) in ways that suggest that They Know All The Things and Reasonable People Cannot Disagree.

Can we stop with this, please?

I'm not talking about compromising your positions. I'm just talking about trying to not exude nuclear levels of smug or incendiary rhetoric or false claims of Truth when you state your positions. I see this behavior a lot lately, whether it be the Same Sex Marriage debate or Gun Control or Ted Cruz or Police Shootings.

Most of what we are engaging in on a daily basis resides in the world of opinion, not fact. Even, frankly, Constitutional matters exist in that realm -- that's what the Supreme Court is for, right? Seems to me they reverse themselves from time to time.

So let's forget making the Republican Party about a "Big Tent!" It's not working. Frankly, the people pushing this philosophy appear more interested in excluding some conservatives under the guise of "expanding the base."

There is no point in having a Big Tent if you shoulder existing residents out of it in the process.

Let's go for "Reasonable People Can Disagree" and see where that gets us.

Open thread.

digg this
posted by Open Blogger at 02:10 PM

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