Disagreement is a healthy part of democracy. We all have different views on taxation, foreign policy, justice, and so on. The beauty of democracy is that we can disagree openly, discuss publicly, and (hopefully) find a compromise.
The operative word here being “compromise”. These days, it often feels like nobody is willing to compromise and everyone is playing to their political base. Compromise is referred to pejoratively as “fudge”; a solution nobody is happy with but everyone can just about live with. Everyone gets their second-best solution.
Compromise obviously requires dialogue. It requires give and take, flexibility, and pragmatism. However, if we are so focused on “ideological purity”, and so offended by someone’s political views that we refuse to even talk to them, how can we ever achieve compromise?
Adopting a loud, aggressive tone is a great way to grab attention in the media. US President Donald Trump is the most famous example of a politician who likes to regularly – mostly via Twitter – dish out criticism. At the same time, Trump also is famously thin-skinned, taking great offence when somebody criticises him.
Is everyone too easily offended these days? Should we be more willing to listen to views (and personalities) we might find offensive? Or would that normalise extremist views? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!
Image Credits: (cc) Flickr – Gage Skidmore