It's time for an adult conversation in America.
That phrase has become a shibboleth used by both the left and the right, but it’s also a necessity if we want to solve our nation’s problems.
As the political divisions in America widen, our debates have become meaningless exercises in self-affirmation. There is no true debate, merely an echo chamber that reinforces our preconceived notions and stifles any potential for consensus or useful disagreement.
Let us agree to put an end to the ad hominem attacks, straw men, and all the other logical fallacies that hinder dialogue. Let us eliminate hyperbole and stamp out the lies and disinformation that serve only to obfuscate the facts. Let us make our arguments passionately but honestly, and listen to opposing views with the same courtesy we reserve for those with whom we agree.
Above all, let’s stop blaming others for our own faults and hold ourselves to the same standards that we apply to our opponents.
It’s clear that we disagree on a whole spectrum of issues, but we need to learn to disagree honestly.
In the end, the strength of our beliefs can only be tested against the best arguments of our opponents. Anything less smacks of dishonesty and cowardice, an admission that our arguments can’t stand on their own merits after all.