Monday, September 26, 2011

Overheard: The prolife cause is by definition uncivil?

Amanda Marcotte's provide her thoughts about what civility is. Being mean and calling names is okay as long as you're using facts (or at least what Marcotte believes are facts).
I think the lesson in all this is that there are limits to the concept of civil discourse. I appreciate Goodman's desire for people to turn down the volume on the hostility and anger---her lecture was to be titled "A Civil Tongue: Welcome to the era of polarized politics, food fight cable shows, and ballistic blogging. How civility was shattered, who is winning, who is losing, and how do we call a truce to the mud wrestling"---but there's really no way for anti-choicers to conduct themselves civilly when promoting their cause. After all, the cause itself is uncivil. Civil people don't nose around in other people's private lives, try to impose their weird religious dogma on the unwilling, or try to destroy other people's pleasure just for the sake of doing it. But that is functionally what the anti-choice movement is about......

My conception of an ideal civil political discourse has less to do with turning down the snark and the name-calling than it does turning up the reliance on facts and reason. If our political system became more civil, it would do serious damage therefore to the anti-choice cause.


  1. The fact that Ms. Marcotte actually has a job to write stuff like this inspires me to be a writer. I'm consistently amazed at what a terrible writer she is.

    Does she even realize what she's doing when she complains about "anti-choice lies" only to go on and list a number of completely unsubstantiated pro-choice lies?

  2. Well, it's certainly much easier to be a writer, when your targeted audience is people who completely agree with you and never think to check the truthfulness of any statements you make.