Listening to Opponents



2012-12-31 – I’ve always liked reading the conservative columnists in the New York Times. Reading people on “my side” of the debate is sometime fun, but rarely enlightening. But NYT conservatives probably don’t represent the full gamut of conservative belief.

So here’s my new year’s resolution for 2013: to make a concerted effort to read the opposition. Ross Douthat of the NYT makes it easy to start by proposing a number of sources. Of course I recognize many of them, but here was a ready-made list so I can get started. I’ve bookmarked most of them. (I had trouble getting a couple of them to work.)

I tried this a few years ago and asked a conservative friend for a list. His list was so bonkers that I gave up. I want to read folks who are going to make me think, not throw up.

Okay. The “throw-up” language here is suspect. Am I just rejecting arguments that I don’t like? I don’t think so. The junk my conservative friend gave me were just a bunch of personal attacks. They didn’t lay out any arguments for a position. They were just: this is how my side thinks. It was all about sides.

I want reasons and values and, yes, emotions. It may be that I will disagree with every one of them. We’ll see.

So, I’ll do this for a year, at least. I’m sure there are some bogus positions on the other side. But there are probably some bogus positions on my side. I already have some candidates in mind for both sides.

* * *

If you like this post, please share it with your friends by clicking one of the buttons below . . . and ask your friends to do the same.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s