Reactionaries

I definitely lean far toward the liberal side of the current U.S. political spectrum. Yet I have been disheartened recently by the intensity of much of the identity politics on the Left.

I had been finding it difficult to articulate my sense of dismay in analytic terms. But then this morning I came upon this great quote by Adam Gopnik:

β€œThe idea that one should trace the source of an argument backward, to its origins, rather than play it forward to the evidence for its claims is the root doctrine of reaction.”

I think he gets it exactly right. Whether you are on the Left or the Right, you need to be able to justify your argument on its own merits.

As soon as we resort to disqualifying someone’s point of view simply because of their identity, we start down the road to fascism. Alas, both ends of the political spectrum in the U.S. are currently heading down this road.

Of course neither side thinks there is any problem with their own identity politics, because they believe they are on the correct side.

I wish we had a greater capacity in this country to truly listen to those with whom we disagree. I wish we were more willing do the work of expressing our differences through reasoned arguments.

Instead I am seeing reactionaries on both sides. When who somebody is starts to be considered more important than what they have to say, we are all in trouble.

One Response to “Reactionaries”

  1. Luiz Velho says:

    For a moment I had the impression that you were talking about Brazil πŸ˜‰

    -L.

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