Have you read David Brooks’ account of a group called Better Angels?
Really worth three minutes.
I think you’ll be able to picture yourself in one of these conversations.
While Putin is busy trying to divide us with fake tweets and real on-the-ground provocateurs, Better Angels — and Oprah, as you may have seen on “60 Minutes” — are trying to bring us back together. Not to agree on everything, but to see each other as the mostly good people we are; to listen; and to assume the best of each other, as we all too often fail to do.
Listening to each other requires — it seems to me — not shutting down people we disagree with.
Even if we really disagree.
But shouldn’t universities be places for robust debate? Places where people feel free to float — and decry — unpopular views?
If a white supremacist or an atheist or right-to-lifer is speaking at your school, you don’t have to attend. Or you could attend with a protest sign. Or you could make a compelling, heartfelt comment when called on during the Q&A. Or write a passionate op-ed before or after the event.
But not to allow the event? To drown out the speaker?
“The politically correct Left is doing itself a terrible disservice when it renders certain topics undiscussable,” argues Steven Pinker in this compelling eight minutes of sanity.
Just how we repel the ongoing Putin attack — and learn to tune out our own, homegrown provocateurs, for that matter — well, that I don’t know.
But we should try.
Have a great weekend.
Quote of the Day
Triumphant wife to down-and-out husband: I've consolidated all our bills into one missed payment.~Frank Cotham cartoon in the October 11, 1999, New Yorker
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