How to Be Reasonable During Unreasonable Times | Making the Case for Pragmatism and Rationality
You’re not a politician nor a journalist so be reasonable!
I can understand why politicians are dishonest.
For example, if I was to run for office as a republican and admit to something like, “My favorite color is blue” then regardless of my lifetime record my primary opponent will try to paint me as some sort of leftist commie with endless ads like… “Anthony Galli’s favorite color is blue! Does this sound like the sort of man who shares our red-state values? Tell Anthony Galli we won’t let him blue it for Texas!”
I can understand why journalists are dishonest.
For example, if John Oliver says “Hey I actually think Trump has a point here” then no matter how much he tows the democratic line in the rest of his show he just lost a ton of potential social media shares and likes. This is the problem with social media. The reader can agree with 90% of what you’re saying, but because they disagree with that last 10% they are less likely to share your content. Heck, getting dislikes is better than being reasonable because at least that’ll generate some controversy.
But why are you so dishonest?
The truth is you’re not.
You are just brainwashed (of course I don’t mean you-you friend, but the people sitting around you).
You see… most politicians and journalists are aware that they are selectively presenting one-side of the argument to appeal for votes and views. They’ll conform whichever way the money blows.
I’ve read biographies on nearly every U.S. president and the historical record often reflects an individual that was far more pragmatic than what they let on to the American public.
They genuinely see republicans as stupid, rich, sexist, racist old men and democrats as stupid, lazy, entitled, sexist, racist young individuals.
Is there some truth to each, yes, but clearly any person who doesn’t compartmentalize their empathy can see how these are unhelpful stereotypes.
Do you REALLY think the republicans or the democrats are 100% right all-the-time? Does your political party have a monopoly on the truth?
If not, then you have an ethical responsibility to say so!
Not every-time, but at least sometimes.
If you’re engaging in a political discussion please don’t always say how your tribe is right. Occasionally acknowledge where you disagree with your tribe (Not only will you gain credibility, but you’d be making the world a more rational place).
For example, during this whole Kavanaugh ordeal did you simply tow the line or did you acknowledge at least in someway on something where the other-side might have a point?
A democrat could say: “You know what the evidence isn’t strong enough here to accuse Kavanaugh of being a sex offender, but with that said, the bar to the Supreme Court should be higher and so I think there is enough evidence for me to say, next.”
A republican could say: “During normal circumstances I would say that a Supreme Court Justice should be more dispassionate and non-partisan, but given the circumstances and the political urgency of the moment, I still believe he should be nominated.”
But I suppose rational responses like these are likely to be drowned out by the blatantly partisan.
Politicians and journalists often talk about “bipartisanship” and “balance” because it plays well with voters and viewers, but for such talk to not just be talk then we-the-people should start reflecting these values in our day-to-day discourse and claps.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this essay then you may appreciate my video essays @ youtube.com/AnthonyGalliVideos