By Tom Quiner
Abortion dehumanizes society.
Pornography dehumanizes society.
Increasingly, even political discourse is dehumanizing, vicious, and divisive. It seems to me that the march of civilization should be in the direction of doing and saying things that make this world a more humane place.
Our march is slow.
Is Ann Coulter really advancing the cause of a humane world with rhetoric like this: “My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to The New York Times building.” I agree with Ms. Coulter on most political issues. I’m concerned that her style, her rhetoric does more harm than good.
Did liberals advance the cause of a humane world with signs at Bush rallies that said: “Save Mother Earth, kill Bush.”
The time has come for civil discourse
Did the late Senator Edward Kennedy advance the cause of a humane world with his speech condemning Supreme Court nominee, Robert Bork, with these words: “Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is—and is often the only—protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy… President Reagan is still our president. But he should not be able to reach out from the muck of Irangate, reach into the muck of Watergate and impose his reactionary vision of the Constitution on the Supreme Court and the next generation of Americans. No justice would be better than this injustice.”
The answer in each of these cases is no. Senator Kennedy’s rhetorical excesses, in particular, have poisoned judicial confirmation hearings to this very day.
I know ugliness and profanity are hip these days. But intelligence is so much more interesting and effective.
Conservatives like me sometimes get fed up with liberals spouting what we feel are incoherent views. And yet I know people with whom I disagree politically who are in the trenches helping people who need help. I appreciate that. I commend them.
Liberals are fond of saying that conservatives don’t care about people. And yet I know conservatives in the trenches helping people who need help. They’re not looking for attention, they’re just helping. I appreciate that. I commend them.
Abortion and pornography are two obvious dehumanizing poisons to our culture. But so is our political discourse.
That doesn’t mean we can’t disagree. It’s all in how we disagree. When we disagree, let’s remember we’re disagreeing with people, and civility promotes the cause of humanity.
I’m certainly no saint, but I hope this blog makes the case for conservative causes with some intelligence and civility.