Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Democracy, Reason, and Listening

In the previous post, I noted how a politician on the right was deemed by the a journalist on the left as ignorant of the issues, and I noted how a leader on the left appears, in my opinion, to be ignoring relevant facts in revisiting policy on the major issue of our time.   I concluded with the question of whether our politics has evolved to a situation where we must choose politicians based on the facts they consider relevant, and those that they ignore in their reasoning process.

Reason requires the same set of facts.  For me to reason based on these facts and you to reason on those facts is similar to me dismissing you and you dismissing me.  Neither of us likes to be depersonalized.

People may weigh some facts over others in the reasoning process.  Why a particular fact is not important and others are is part of the debate.  The other person deserves to know.  If we all commit to reason, fairly and legitimately, then we can survive as a democracy.

In order to discuss the same set of facts, we must listen for them – to each other for them.  So, for that period of time we should stop talking and listen.  Second, we must acknowledge what we heard.

For those who are ignorant of the issues, education is the answer.

For those who insist on building policy without acknowledging the facts advocated by the other side, then that is what elections are all about.   The public will decide which set of facts will prevail.

I was concerned when I wrote the previous post, but I was depressed when I heard this week of a Republican Congressional candidate in Texas who said that violent revolution was not off the table.  I hope he looses.  I hope he doesn’t get a vote, even his own.

No comments:

Post a Comment