Pro vs. Anti


In public political discourse, there is very little capacity for subtlety. The public seems to understand every issue as a binary choice: “pro” vs “anti”. Pro/anti immigration. Pro/anti muslim. Pro/anti drugs.

The liberal public mind has no more capacity to understand the “subtle” difference between legal and illegal immigration, than the conservative public mind has the capacity to understand the “subtle” difference between the dangers of weed and meth. In our public discourse, it seems you can’t support legalization of marijuana without also being in support of a free supply of meth for all of our children. You can’t support tougher enforcement of our immigration laws without also hating all immigrants.

People frame the pro/anti questions in a way that eliminates subtlety, and creates a false impression of the views of the other side. Nobody is anti-life! Nobody is enemy to choice! People who want to legalize weed don’t want your children to try meth. People who want tougher enforcement of immigration laws don’t want to end all immigration.

There probably are many people that are so ignorant, that they place the dangers of marijuana use at the same level as those of meth. They are many so simple-minded that they think enforcing immigration laws means not inviting many people that want and deserve it to immigrate to this country legally. But, most people are not so ignorant, and placing a evil-sounding label on them is unfair.

There is right and wrong involved in a lot of these questions. But what is wrong is to ignore the subtleties in the arguments on the other side. The truth is subtle.

October 23rd, 2016 by