Civil Disagreement and Debate Makes Our Society Better, Smarter

Written by Michael Cummings on July 6, 2018

There is good news in the fight against leftism: As a people, we’re smarter and more civil.

Before you point to People of Walmart and Antifa’s latest outbreak in Portland, allow me to explain.

In a recent Joe Rogan podcast, Jordan B. Peterson said (paraphrase),

There’s this technological revolution going on now, and it’s a deep one. It isn’t obvious how many people can read, but we know lots of people can listen. Spoken word now has the same reach as the written word, and we’ve only touched the surface of this medium. What we’re seeing is we’re all smarter than we thought.

In other words, we can handle long narratives, long-form conversations (Joe Rogan, Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro), and carefully prepared and delivered content that’s broadcast beyond the typical three-minute interview when every contributor is shouting over one another between commercial breaks. Given the chance, people show more of their capabilities to converse and contribute than we thought possible.

I don’t know about you but when I dip my toe over to the left side of the web, in many places it appears no one can think for themselves. They all bark Democrat party lines like abolishing ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), separating children from their families, and how much Donald Trump resembles Hitler – and anyone who disagrees in the slightest gets strung up on the virtual rack, blocked, or harassed at a local restaurant. None of this wailing has any meaning, intellectual depth, or purpose other than fomenting for its own sake.

But if the speed and temperament of the conversation are brought down a notch, a collective breath seems to emanate through the dialogue, and people seem to listen. Lead by people like Rogan, Peterson, Shapiro, Levin, Dave Rubin, Sam Harris, etc., this intellectual uptick is a good thing.

It would also appear civility is on the rise.

Take a look at Curt Schilling’s (former MLB pitcher) feed about the giraffe harvested in Africa. The thread begins with the following by Schilling:

I’ve never been a hunter [sic], my dad was but that was in Alaska and it was a part of life there. Having said that, I don’t get this. I’ve never gotten this. Where is the “sport” in this? I do understand the need to control populations but this?

Readers here aren’t paying attention if they don’t know Clash Daily is a hunting-friendly site. Take a look at our chief. So I’ll leave that debate for another time. What gives me heart, though, is that people disagreed with the practice of what’s called “trophy hunting” but were cordial to each other in the debate. Yes, there were outliers, but the light of civility is shining through the dark.

Another example is a recent debate Ben Shapiro had with Bill Maher. I never know what to make of Bill Maher. He can call out leftists for their multiple, stupid positions, but mention religion or anything conservative and you can see one side of his face tilt up in a mocking sneer and, frankly, what comes out of his mouth thereafter is more often deserving of a fist than a debate.

(I don’t mean that literally, Bill.)

Watch the debate. Ben Shapiro is Ben Shapiro. Few people on this planet could rattle him in a political debate. I think you’ll agree that these two talking civilly to each other, and giving one another time to make a point without shouting, just makes people like Maxine Waters and groups like Antifa more worthless by the day.

There are people in this country who aren’t smart. There are people in this country who are evil, and not in the slightest interested in being civil to anyone who disagrees with them. But I believe these are the exception.

I hope you had a Happy Independence Day, America.

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Michael Cummings
Michael A. Cummings has a Bachelors in Business Management from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, and a Masters in Rhetoric & Composition from Northern Arizona University. He has worked as a department store Loss Prevention Officer, bank auditor, textbook store manager, Chinese food delivery man, and technology salesman. Cummings wrote position pieces for the 2010 Trevor Drown for US Senate (AR) and 2012 Joe Coors for Congress (CO) campaigns.