Thursday, November 4

Election aftermath

I'm somewhat liberal when it comes to social policy. I'm conservative on religion and morality. A lot of the weblogs I read regularly are much to the left of me. Here's the thing: we're not making any progress in this country while we continue this culture war. As long as we think everybody on the other side is crazy or stupid, we won't make any progress. We need to expand civil discourse, the issues covered thereby and the number of people involved therein.

You can make a good case that the biggest divide in this country is between religionists and secularists (and I hope those are fair terms). As long as the religionists view certain voting issues as moral issues (eg, abortion and gay marriage), they'll have a massive advantage in getting out the vote. They voted down every gay marriage referendum in this election, and voted for Bush while they were at it.

Obviously, another big factor was the security vote, which went to Bush in the common thinking. But I don't think it was as much of a factor as the secular/religious dichotomy.

I don't think this divide is good or bad (ie, the religious and secular camps). I do think there's lots of stupidity involved. There must be since the negative campaigning and Michael Moores/Ann Coulters of the world have an audience. But writing our opponents off as dumb, or demonizing them, can only hurt all of us.

Greg Knauss has a guest essay saying some of the same things. My answer (expanding rational, civil discourse) is different from most of those in the ensuing comments over there.

You know, if you read here regularly, that this post does not mean I'm crazy about the reelection. But it's not the end of the world, either.

One more time: more rational civil discourse.
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