Sunday, April 06, 2008

"As the Incivility Rises"

I get emails from dozens of lists.

I frankly don’t know where a number of them came from and, quite frankly, I try to read as many as time permits. I also have a pretty good feeling for who writes what, who is responsible and who is a “trouble-maker.”
All in all, I try to respect those who take the time and make the effort to write to me in an informed and helpful way.

But as of late, I’ve noticed a dramatic change in civility.

There have always been cranks on the Internet. And “plants” and people who just like to raise your blood pressure or vent their own frustrations.

That’s okay. I know who they are and I can tune them out.

But now the incivility level has sky rocketed and most of it is attributed to those who write on political issues.

In fact, I detect a correlation of the incivility level rising around the time of the South Carolina primary and as each month goes by, levels seem to increase to the extent that I am currently alarmed by attitudes that are not healthy or conducive to rational conversation.

I draw the line at name calling and absolutism.

Anyone educated in symbolic logic has to know that with the increase of adjectives—especially negative adjectives—the informational content of the data decreases proportionately.

In other words, the more hysterical the content, the less it has to say.

Therefore, not only are those specializing in this kind of logic becoming increasingly persona non grata, the rhetoric they are spouting is diminished in terms of perceived credibility.

In my own case, if I get three such missives sequentially, I am inclined to discount the author from here forward; with the glut of emails we all get, no one can afford to waste anyone else’s time in nasty, vindictive, cruel and misrepresentative mud-slinging.

Enough is enough!

Moreover, having experienced liberal anger before, I know it can be destructive to our efforts and the sense of deja-vu is endemic.

Not only are the republicans trying to blame us for everything that goes wrong, we are being double-teamed by off-the-wall accusations and a stream of bellicosity that is redolent of primitive warfare and it is coming from us!....

Despite all of this, the truth is that 81% of the American people feel that
the country is going in the wrong direction.

If you factor all of this in to your equations, you have to wonder why John McCain, who is aligned with the past, has an approval record that continues to rise.

What does this tell you?

Well, it tells me that it has less to do with John then the fact that the democrat’s “below the belt” tactics have so exacerbated democrats’ closely held beliefs that we are indeed in danger of fracturing as a party.

The dirty tricks are having their effect.

And it is eating away at the promise and potential of this election to change what is becoming a toxic environment.

With Clinton’s intractability and unwillingness to do what’s right for the party and determination to take this all the way to the Convention, there’s a very good possibility that the party will continue in disarray and disharmony through August.

If this is the case, if the democrats cannot settle their differences and come together,
the prospects for a democratic win become increasingly bleak.

I think Howard Dean sees the writing on the wall; but feels powerless to do something about it in light of all the vested interests.

Les Aaron

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