[eDebate] ans Elliott

Michael Korcok mmk_savant
Sat Oct 13 09:50:41 CDT 2007


While I agree that the elaboration of mutual preference has been part and parcel of fracturing this community along fault lines which we might otherwise work harder to overcome, no one has an alternative which garners enthusiasm.  
 
We have mirrored the broader socio-political polarization in the United States.  Over the last decade, there has been a collapse of the center despite repeated attempts to recreate an American middle.  This split is obvious in our rhetorical practices:  left right and other speak to themselves in xenophobic communities, using the excuses that they are "developing their message" and "the other side is evil, beyond dialog".  The cognitive offspring of this in-bred thinking are twisted magnifications of the worst and most extreme ideas in each isolated community.
 
It looks like things may be breaking toward the center again in America.  The left can't win without those of us in the middle (they never could but they forgot that again during the 90s) and it looks like they actually want to make a try for power.  The bloodletting on the right looks like it might almost be done:  a centrist will get the nomination, the religious zealots will get squadoosh, and the screeching howls from Dobson/Wildmon/Coulter are worth every vote.  The Washington Post even ran an article the other day about how politics was moving from red vs. blue to purple.  Maybe we're getting our centripetal force back.
 
Debate too.  Too much middle and you don't get innovation, experimentation, and diversity.  Too much fringe and the discourse fragments into disconnected pieces.  There is a fight in debate to recreate a center after a decade of fragmentation and splitting.  But we'll probably do this to excess like we do everything else.
 
Speaking of excess...  Scott, that post reads like you teach pandering rather than debate.  There is a balance to be struck there, too.  Too little adaptation makes unyielding ideological drudges but too much adaptation makes pandering weasels who won't take a stand.  Shoot for something like unyielding ideological pandering weasels who'll say anything for cash.  In other words, teach them to be French.
 
Michael Korcok
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