Sunday, December 2, 2012

Editorial: Forum a microcosm of nation's polarity

The unnamed editor's Barcalounger turns in the column for today, rehashing Ken Hedler's piece from Friday's edition about an amateur theatrical ostensibly about economics, held by and for Prescott's Very Serious People Club.

The chair seems to get it right in characterizing the show as "an accurate picture of division in our country." I'm a little skeptical that it really understands why, however.

Where the chair seems to have seen "contrasting views on America's slow recovery from the Great Recession," what actually happened, as Ken describes it, was that one guy gave a talk on economics while the other ranted about his political ideology.

This is indeed how the bulk of our public discourse has been playing out for about twenty years. One side talks about facts and policy, the other talks trash. And no, these roles do not reverse according to the issue -- the trash comes from the reactionary Republicans. It's long past time for us to stop pretending that the sides are equally at fault and simply trashing one another at every opportunity. There is legitimate, fact-based criticism based on facts, and there is schoolyard name-calling. They are not of equal value, and the sooner we stop pretending as much, the sooner we'll begin to move forward in addressing the systemic and cultural problems that are crippling this nation. If we can't have an adult conversation, we can't have adult solutions, let alone smart ones.

On that score I've got a cookie for Ken for having the balls to point out in print that one guy was talking and the other just barking. I can't speculate on how that got past the editors, but let's have more of it.