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.
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).