Wednesday, 5 March 2003

Civility (or the lack thereof)

Greg Wythe links to this Washington Times piece by R. Emmett Tyrell making a very pertinent point:

The steady drift of Democratic activists away from war with Iraq, despite the president's every effort to accommodate their concerns, is another demonstration of a phenomenon of American politics that I only became aware of in the Clinton years. The phenomenon is this: A sizable proportion of the politically committed in America today are not propelled by principle or by fact but by the deep emotional satisfaction, indeed the peace of mind, that they derive from beating hell out of an opponent. To be sure, it is commonly heard that the politicians, at least those of the finest flower, long to put partisanship aside; but the truth is that without partisanship politics would lose much of its attraction for many politically active souls. Frankly, many of them are itching for a fight and grateful for every perceived enemy.

I think this trend is as present in the Blogosphere as anywhere else — there are clearly some very unreasonable voices that nonetheless gain a wide audience, at all extremes of the political spectrum.