Closing this election cycle and we see ourselves amidst facebook defriendings and unfriendings with salvos of impolite discourse, vulgarity, ad hominem & hyperbolic rantings.
A veritable feast of uncritical thinking.
It's not difficult to surmise what this "battle of ideas" amount to: Lots of posturing and little arguments.
I'd suggest coming back to Wittgenstein's idea of Sprachspiel. For Wittgenstein, meaning and understanding is embedded in language games we play. For some time the left and the right of our political spectrum have retreated into their own language games, which makes communication between opposing factions virtually impossible.
One is aghast at the emotional excess of our discussions. Even in this microuniverse called facebook, we should observe a minimum of decorum.
Our political discourse has descended into a protracted senseless folly.
Like the Chinese, I propose five points:
1- Let's conduct ourselves —always— with civility.
2- Let's not win a point when by doing so we make ourselves look like bullies. Knowing when to retreat speaks of prudence and self-government.
3- Facebook is a public forum. There are people watching and judging. Getting good grades on politeness is always a plus.
4- If your friend and you don't agree on political issues, stop flogging the horse.
5- There is always the editing tool. If I say something I don't feel proud of, I can always edit my comment, rather than leaving a record of my nastiness in the eyes of the world.
Until the next elections!