Focus, methods, and what they say

Jay Tea calls it subjectivism in his post It’s not personal. It’s strictly business. It is arguing everything but the issue at hand and not being too careful about reality either. For instance, in the recent Boxer versus Rice testimony in committee:

chose not to base her disagreement on matters of policy, philosophy, or to find fault in … education or professional qualifications. Rather, … personal decisions and lifestyle choices

There’s an old saying — “don’t shoot the messenger.” These days, it seems a hell of a lot easier to do just that Why bother mustering arguments and facts and positions and ideas when, instead, you can simply attack the messenger and turn the issue to the perceived failings of that person? It’s so much simpler, and human nature will be your able assistant — nearly everyone, when attacked, wants to defend themselves, and that just furthers the move away from the topic at hand.

It’s bad. It’s wrong. It’s shameful. It’s corrosive. And we should do what we can to call out those who use it, even when it’s each other.

What are the options? The alternative to calling out those who engage in destructive tactics and methods? There have been attempts to outlaw such things as, for instance, the McCain/Fiengold law. That should probably be reserved for things such as yelling fire in a crowded theater where there is objective potential for serious direct personal injury or harm.

The other two options include exercising personal responsibility and applying social pressures. What we are seeing is a breakdown of the internal, the exercise of personal responsibility, and we are seeing a significant disinterest in the application of social and peer pressure. In other words, there does not seem to be any value in intellectual integrity and personal responsibility. That is something to think about.

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