Tuesday, October 2, 2007

On Fence-Sitting

People at both ends of our political spectrum are nuts -- Somebody

Surely it's more useful to engage with the substance of someone's opinions (of any portion of the spectrum) than to simply dismiss them with an insult?

Such statements have the whiff of fence-sitting, where the insulter adopts the convenient position of being able to dump derision on people who actually express an opinion, while not committing to any position him/herself.

Very gratifying for some folks, I'm sure, but not terribly useful for participating in the mechanisms of civic discussion and consensus.

There's also the commonly held notion that someone who feels the need to resort to insults is implicitly admitting they haven't a leg to stand on, when it comes to the merits of a discussion.

Of course, if one is sitting on a fence all the time, one's legs aren't being used much.

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