The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Call for an End to Political Timidity

The debate in the United States has become increasingly frustrating as the Right voluntarily gives up one key speaker after another simply because they say things that are offensive to the Left. These are people like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Pamela Geller, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage and others. Perhaps the better way to say it is that these in their pursuit to focus on the deep details of current events to say things that are less concerned about offending people than about advancing the debate.

The fact is that debate is not the Left as a whole vs. the Right as a whole. It is a debate of each individual point of argument. Very few of these points of argument contain much middle ground which often makes me scratch my head over the term moderate. If there are 100 main debate points where the truth lies either on the Left or on the Right, one can go with one side on one point and the other on another point. The concept of moderate however is often conveyed as being somewhere in the middle of ideology as a whole.

Each voice, not matter where they are in ideology, engages in debate on each point one by one; and even if an individual voice is wrong or offensive much of the time, it does not prevent them from being accurate on a given point. Many seem to be quick to cut off a voice if that voice has in some way given offense. Many right of center run from those named above and have written them off. The fact is that if you talk a lot (especially unscripted), are consistently interesting, want to spark controversial debate and are confident in your opinions - you will offend people from time to time. Those named above may have said offensive things and at times smack of arrogance, but the important thing is they are willing to stick their neck out and push the envelope to get people to think. They are also masterful at articulating the issues.

As we have seen in politics, the most destructive force has been the RINO. The RINO has blurred lines, clouded the water, tarnished the GOP brand and taken the motivation to even vote away from many people. In the public debate, there does not have to be party affiliation. However, most people see the public debate as only having two sides. There are, however, at least three groups: the purists on each side and then this big lump in the middle. The debate that occurs in the middle often lacks clarity, effectiveness and progress. Topics go on and on, back and forth with listeners and readers losing attention rapidly.

It is often those voices clearly on each side that ever make advancement in the public debate. When a story, or topic grows legs, or takes wings it is often originating from one or other of the purist's camps. People like Ann Coulter and Pamela Geller frequently cause a major stir when they speak out. They do not hold their punches and instead of worrying about being offensive, they sometimes go out of their way to be offensive. They will discuss things that need to be discussed, but others are two fearful to address.

In summary, the public debate will not be won while debaters are hostage to timidity, fear of offending and middle of the road messages. Some are taking the lead with boldness and clarity. If they happen to go too far, perhaps a reprimand is in order. However, to throw them away is to risk being trapped in the middle or worst to allow the public debate to be lost to the other side. One of the problems I had with the Bush Administration was their affinity for winning a political battle without winning the public debate. They would use all the tools at their disposal to get their agenda advanced - everything except participating in and winning the public debate.

In voting, it is better to vote out the RINOs and lose, than keep voting them in just to win. In the public debate, it is better to risk offense and win the debate than to be too moderate and lose the clarity necessary to capture attention. It is better to convince the people of what is right than to cater to them when they are wrong.

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1 Comments:

  • At 12:52 PM, Blogger SkyePuppy said…

    I read this last week and had nothing to add. Today, when I looked it over again, This part jumped out at me:

    One of the problems I had with the Bush Administration was their affinity for winning a political battle without winning the public debate. They would use all the tools at their disposal to get their agenda advanced - everything except participating in and winning the public debate.

    The problem Bush had at the time, and that the GOP still faces today, is that the tools for winning the debate lie primarily in the hands of the Democrats, and they use those tools to their advantage whenever possible.

    For example (and this isn't about debate winning, just messaging in general), a GOP congressman plays footsie in the men's room: Scream it from the rooftops in every major media outlet until the guy says he's going to resign! But when a Democratic candidate for president has an affair and a kid with a beautiful staffer, let the crickets chirp loudly enough to wake the dead.

    So it's an uphill battle for any kind of GOP or conservative message to get out, let alone win people over.

    What the real chutzpah is is that the Democrats keep moving forward without winning the debate, and they haven't shut up for a second with their message spreading.

     

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