Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Hard to be civil

The discussion at Gay Patriot (via Instapundit) about civility in comments on blogs, was called to mind by Dennis Prager's piece alleging that "Liberals hate conservatives far more than conservatives hate liberals." That in turn reminds me of Charles Krauthammer's maxim that "Conservatives think that liberals are stupid, while liberals think that conservatives are evil."

I began to wonder how ad hominem my commenting is. I post a lot through blogging, letters to the editor and posts on other blog's comments or forums. I guess it's natural to draw conclusions about other people's intellect or mental stability when you see them repeat obvious lies and myths to justify their opinions. But when their version of factual arguments is to call Bush a chimp or a Nazi, it's pretty hard to credit them with critical reasoning skills. Telling them they're crazy is not quite the same as the kind of vicious personal attacks, profanity and accusations we see routinely. Sure, there are conservatives who give as bad as they get, but generally they seem to have reasons to disagree and focus on them, rather than merely spitting venom. I hope that I can keep my arguments civil, but there are some people who just arouse my contempt. I don't swear or curse very often, but I don't suffer fools gladly, either.

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