Monday, June 7, 2010

A Problem with Perspective

In politics, it seems any relatively smart person can make a reasonable argument for almost anything. With the internet and social networking media, we need to be careful that a passionate advocate doesn't overwhelm the conventional wisdom before another side has had time to respond and get it together.

So when someone makes a "it's not fair" argument and uses emotional arguments and facts, we should naturally question what is a legitimate other side? If they nor anyone can articulate one, you have to be skeptical. Very few issues are akin to slavery or the holocaust.

Using sports as an example, last night Kobe Bryant was in foul trouble the whole night. Some might say that this cost the Lakers a chance to win the game because he wasn't able to get into his normal rhythm. Fair enough.

But the referees were tough on the Celtics also, calling questionable fouls on them too.
So a fan wanting to "blame the officials" has ammunition with clearly bad calls on Kobe.
But a person wanting to be fair could point to equally bad calls against the Celtics.

Those wanting to change the bad calls against Kobe, "if the referees hadn't".... then ....
to be intellectually honest must do the same in reference to the Celtics.

That is politics at it's best. Making honest arguments even in the abstract.
Too often we have people acting out of self-interest or their parochial perspective and they take that to an extreme.

Being a true liberal means that you make every effort to see the other side.
Assuming they are reasonable, you work to come to a consensus, even in your mind.
If they aren't reasonable, you should substantially ignore it.

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