Archive for September, 2006

Letter to the Kaimin

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

Note: The ‘scene’ I was referring to was an all-too-common one: idiots on both sides of a debate yelling at one another. In this case, it was an anti-abortion raving lunatic with a sign depicting a dead fetus on one side and ill-informed college kids on the other.

Dear Editor,

The scene outside the UC on Monday illustrates the sad state of public discourse today. The context of the confrontation – preachers with signs shouting at passersby, and vice-versa – demonstrates that too often, these issues boil down to one group of idiots yelling at another. The abortion debate is tough because it involves an ethical decision. Factions on either side of the divide scramble to find facts that support their position, but they come up empty-handed. Sadly, there is no way to logically prove that one side or another is correct. We choose based on our own gut feelings about the issue. We cannot resolve the debate cleanly because no solution exists that would satisfy both sides equally. So in the heat of the moment, the pro-choicers and pro-lifers cannot recall the arguments they have constructed, and are left screaming epithets and trite, meaningless catchphrases like “My body, my choice” and “every life has value” at each other. Clearly they are in the wrong frame of mind. A solution to the perceived problem involves negotiation and compromise, not cursing and covering one’s ears. These solutions are not limited to just the abortion issue, but every political debate we engage in. Unfortunately, name-calling and sloganeering often elicit more of a response in people than level-headed debate, which is why scenes like Monday’s are all too common.