The Dangers of Genuine Dialogue

June 8, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Satire is, by definition, offensive. It is meant to make us feel uncomfortable. It is meant to make us scratch our heads, think, do a double-take, and then think again. Maajid Nawaz

It seems to me that it really isn’t really possible to conduct genuine dialogue or discussion without being offensive. I’m not talking about being rude or obnoxious, I am simply talking about telling the truth as you see it. Because when you do, someone with the opposite opinion will most certainly take offense. The result is too often angry name-calling, a rise in ire, and even total dissociation.

Free Speech???

I guess you could classify my political leanings as center left and yet I remain appalled by the political correctness that is degrading our constitutional right to free speech. Unfortunately it seems that political correctness is rampant in many or perhaps even most college campuses where we are supposed to be teaching young people to “think” with an open mind.

In 2015 (four years ago), in an interview on ESPN Radio with Colin Cowherd, Jerry Seinfeld discussed the growing trend of comedians avoiding college campuses for fear of backlash over political correctness. Chris Rock followed with this… ““I stopped playing colleges, and the reason is because they’re way too conservative,” he added, “Not in their political views — not like they’re voting Republican — but in their social views and their unwillingness to offend anybody.”

I think of my friend Terry who is much more liberal than I am. We have political discussions frequently, vehemently disagree on many topics and yet we have found a way to do so without damaging our friendship. I just called Terry on this subject and he told me his objective in any conversation is to “learn something new.”

Learning Something New

I am currently deep in the throes of two debates in which I am trying to understand each side better—both with politically correct implications. One is a theological debate on the function of Easter and the other is attempting to try to better understand the positions of the right and the left in political debate. I YouTube both Fox News and MSNBC to try to understand each side. Unfortunately I feel I am in need of another resource because each side is so entrenched in vitriol toward the other that I cannot find what I consider truth from either one.

So what is the solution? Quit being so damned offended. Another person’s opinion should literally have no effect whatsoever on my personal ideas. In fact, if I am open, I just might learn something.

Perhaps this comes with age. At nearly 70 I know a lot fewer things “for sure” than I did when I was 35. I am open to radical ideas—as long as they pass the “well thought through test.”

And You?

How about you? Send me a comment.

Freedom of Speech

A Losing Right

Photo courtesy of corners74 at istockphoto

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