Monday, December 10, 2007

Political discussions

Political discussions

One thing I always enjoy in a debate is two people with intelligent opinions on the subject. One thing I hate in a debate is two people with unintelligent opinions on the subject.We all have unintelligent opinions on things. For example, I would like to see an increase in biomass electrical plants. While I have read a little on the subject, and it all seems well and good to me, I don't really understand the dynamics of our electrical demands, the different methods of how electricity is produced, or how much money these things cost. I really just don't have a good understanding of the subject. It's just a matter of making more biomass plants sounds very sensible to me. I would not go out and try and make an argument on the subject in a public forum because I'm not well equipped to defend my position against someone who does understand the dynamics of meeting electrical demands in a reasonable fashion.The problem with most political discussions, both public and private, is that the person representing their position is usually uninformed and has no real appreciation for the subject they are trying to tackle. This is why when abortion comes up it is always killing babys vs. woman rights. These arguments are tired, usually hateful, and do not really address their opponents concerns. Even the terms Pro-Life (or right to life) and Pro-Choice are designed to paint the other side as somehow inherently bad. Who wants to be against life, or against choice? Who wants to appear as being misogynistic or murdering babies? Nobody does, that's why each side frames the debate in these lights. The point isn't to defend their side but to offend the other.These problems trickle in to all sorts of hot topics, welfare, immigration, gay marriage, class issues, etc. Nobody is interested in sitting down and trying to understanding where we are coming from in our points of view. Once we can educate each other on our beliefs like mature adults we can start to build the foundation for finding a compromise. Even if a compromise is not reachable (like with abortion or the death penalty) we can at least carry on a dialog and fight our fights in the legal system without pretending like the other side is monstrous collection of undesirables that need to be ridiculed and chastised.So I say be wary of any pundit that tries to paint any issue with a broad brush. If a rebuttal to an argument begins with personal attacks against the opposing groups simply turn that person off and look for an intelligent debate. Life is too short to just sit around and hate people and groups based on political lines.