…usually favors the party in power. Sanctimony drips from riches. A powerful person can call for order and civility, while a revolt against his/her tyranny requires stridency in the least.
So, what is out of bounds, if at least minimally civil discourse is our aspiration?
- Truth telling should be the least we do. What we say should be honest and reliable, so much as we have the appropriate information. It is true that power tends to retain its power in part by hoarding information, so it can nod wisely and say, "You just do not see the bigger picture," so to appear Solomonic. Still, what information we do possess should be put to our most earnest scrutiny.
- We should not use anonymous go-betweens to deliver our vitriol and afterward pronounce our own innocence and high ideals. A rat is a rat, whether he comes out at night or in the day.
- Cliches are "amen-getters" but they short-circuit dialogue. Discoursers who wave the flag at each weak point actually only signal their weak points. "Attack me here," they announce.
- Families are out of bounds.
- We might explain our own goals as clearly as possible.
- We might confine our remarks to persons in the room, or, on the net, to those in the chat.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.