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Remembering the Days of Healthy Discourse 


Remembering the Days of Healthy Discourse 

Cancel culture may have identified the covert (and often, overt) bias that pervades society, but has it stopped the opportunity for healthy discourse? In this article, John Murray reminisces on days gone by where healthy discourse and personal differences could be voiced freely without fear of discrimination or disdain.  

It is tough to get a majority of Americans to agree on anything these days, let alone an overwhelming majority.

Wait! Here’s something: “Political discourse in America has devolved and become toxic and dangerous.”

Last May, Pew Research published a study indicating that a whopping 85% of U.S. adults agreed that political debate over the past few years has become more negative and less-respectful; 76% agreed that debate had also become less fact-based.

It seems we can all agree that we can’t respectfully disagree.

Some folks, myself included, were cautiously optimistic that the COVID-19 crisis would bring us all closer together, and tone down the rhetoric and finger-pointing.

You know: create a rallying point that would allow us to all get behind a common cause in unity and positive enthusiasm?

Boy, were we wrong!

If anything, the discourse around this pandemic has become more heated, with political affiliation driving divergent opinions and beliefs, even about personal safety, which one would presume rises above politics.

Ironically, the old adage that “all politics are local” doesn’t seem to apply here; nor do facts, which can at best be contradictory and at worse, intentionally mis-interpreted to support one side or the other.

From the beginning of the pandemic, polls showed that fears of contracting the virus were skewed along party lines, presumably driven by diverging media coverage and public comments by politicians from each party.

As differing opinions and approaches to “flattening the curve” rolled out in mid-March, the divisiveness ratcheted up with each side seeming going “all in” on their relative positions.

Key points include:

  • COVID-19
  • The Civil War
  • Clicks, likes, and feedback loops

Access the full article, The Elusiveness of Healthy Discourse, on LinkedIn.