Comments Posted By JohnJ
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LEARNING NEW THINGS CAN BE FUN

I think the greater point should be to support good policy regardless of who supports or opposes it, and oppose bad policy regardless of who supports or opposes it. Don't support or oppose the Democrats' plan because it is the Democrats' plan. Support or oppose it because you think it is a good or bad idea.

Unfortunately, too many people project their biases on others. They will see your support or opposition as partisan whether it is or not. But those people aren't rational anyways, and merely declaring that you hate one side as much as the other doesn't mean anything to them.

Rational people need to rise above it by explaining why they think a policy is good or bad. Hating on one side as justification for taking a side on a policy is worse than explaining why a policy should be supported or opposed. For one thing, we want to encourage both parties to adopt good ideas. If they know that they will not be supported by rational people regardless of their policy position, they have no incentive to support good policy. Just as a business has no incentive to provide a good product to anyone who refuses to shop there.

The only way to have good policies implemented is to support politicians who adopt those policies. Telling a politician that s/he will not be supported even if s/he adopts a good policy ensures that no politician will adopt said policy.

But rational people start by advocating good policy, and then support whatever politician adopts said policy. Irrational people support the politician first, and then adopt whatever policy the politician advocates.

Comment Posted By JohnJ On 9.08.2009 @ 12:26

It's interesting that, while claiming to be the last one, or few, rational people left, it is also claimed that demagoguery is not necessary in this country in order to defeat really bad legislation.

It isn't rational to claim both. Either the majority of Americans are rational (which is highly debatable to say the least) or demagoguery and fearmongering are necessary.

I think it's true that the irrational make up such a substantial portion of the population that demagoguery and fearmongering are used for them, but we also have to continue to support rational arguments and critical thinking. I don't think it's true that there are enough rational people with critical-thinking skills that we can or should expect to see an end to demagoguery and fearmongering anytime soon. Blaming all Republicans (or Democrats) for the acts of a few members of the party is also unreasonable.

As for myself, I focus on supporting good policy and opposing bad policy, without regard to faces or names. I wish more people did.

Federalist 10 is a pretty good read, too.

Comment Posted By JohnJ On 9.08.2009 @ 10:31


 


 


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