Read the following quotes and you don’t have to read the rest of this blog post…
“In all debates, let truth be thy aim, not victory, or an unjust interest.” — William Penn
“The clash of ideas is not weakness.Truth reaches its place when tussling with error.” —Richard Henry Pratt
“Diversity and independence are important because the best collective decisions are the product of disagreement and contest, not consensus or compromise.” — James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds
“I think in our desire to create a better America,we have to have civilized debate in this country and not just yelling.” — Craig Ferguson
This past weekend I enjoyed a discussion/debate about President Obama’s plan to provide two (2) years of college at no cost to the student (now called American’s College Promise).
This blog is now about America’s College Promise directly. Rather, it’s about civic discourse, conversation, and debate.
One of the (several) questions being debated was the source of funding of the America’s College Promise program. How would we pay for it? Being the financial conservative (and social moderate) that I am, I am deeply concerned about our operating and accumulated debt.
I understand that mine is a stereotypically Republican position (i.e., cut spending, reduce debt, etc.). It took me a moment to understand why I was bothered when the person with whom I was conversing (and whom I understand from an ultra-reliable source is “wicked smart”) asked why someone would prefer to “spend $680B on the Department of Defense and countless more on tax cuts for the rich” than $60B (over 10 (ten) years) on America’s College Promise.
I never said that I was in favor of preserving $680B in defense spending or “tax cuts for the rich.” I happen to agree that our Defense Budget is too high. I happen to think a lot of other things. 🙂
Most conservatives I know don’t take the Republican platform as gospel. Most liberals I know don’t take the Democrat platform as gospel.
So, how did we get here? Am I wrong in seeing a parallel in how our elected “leaders” behave in Congress? A compromise is an agreement in which noone is happy. It is an important part of our political machine and yet seems badly broken.
We all need to take a breath and realize that almost no one has the requisite knowledge/expertise to have a fully informed opinion on any specific issue.
I hope to keep the four quotes at the top of this blog in mind when I debate issues.
We’re working on this kind of thing at Reacht. Check us out. More specifically, download Reacht and join the group
politics . Hope to see you there!