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The State of Debate

So I like this FoxNews show called RedEye. Why do I like this show? Because Greg Gutfeld reminds me of an older, more fit me. That and the guests and hosts usually have some interesting and or funny takes on the “news” of the day. Oh and also they play some of the best and strangest clips you can find on the web as well. I also have to mention they have some of the hottest ladies in news and entertainment as guests as well from S. E. Cupp to Reshma Shetti. Then there’s the occasional “out there” guest like  Interplanetary Correspondent Oderus Urungus.  While the show is one that primarily pokes fun at the media and politics (ANOTHER reason I like it), it is also a bit of an opinion show.

One segment from a recent show got me thinking. The segment was about an artile by Steven Crowder about Abstinence. Now I don’t care if anyone agrees or disagrees with Steven’s article. I’m interested in the debate that was sparked on the show. Please watch and then I’ll explain my thoughts.

So the majority of the debate is between Amy Schumer and Steven Crowder. To me, Amy seems personally offended by Steven’s piece and her way of expressing her objections to the piece is emotional. Moreover she seems she tries to attack the message but ends up going for Steven instead. Steven seems to try to remain less emotional, but I kind of get the vibe he doesn’t know how to react to the way Amy is expressing herself. He also seems to lash back at Amy but in a very passive-aggressive manner, trying to get the others to reel Amy in when his arguments seem to fail on her. I find Amy’s reaction interesting not because I disagree with her (because I don’t necessarily), but because I think it illustrates how we as Americans are; rather than debate issues we argue, we get emotional, and we attack the people on the “other side”.

Why do we do this? I think it is largely because of two things: 1) Americans feel entitled (surprise). We don’t think anyone anywhere can tell us how we can think, what we can do, or how we can act WHILE at the same time we feel like we can turn around and do EXACTLY that to others. That’s the number 1 thing that p!sses me off about our culture. Anyway, I digress from my topic. 2) I think modern journalism has taught countless numbers of media drones to make every reader emotionally tied to the “victim” of whatever the journalist writes about regardless if there is an actual victim or not. I believe that it is this approach to journalism and politics that has driven us as a culture to become more emotional and less logical.

I’d like to see a wee bit more logic in our discourse as a people. Why must we attack the person and not the message? Often we completely write off people who say things that we find difficult to hear. We are ready, even eager at times to assume the worst about those that think differently than us, and while I think much of that is natural, we have also been conditioned in very small ways to look for injustices that can often be more contrived than real. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but when we do it so often that we lose sight of our logic, compassion, and values then it is an issue. I ask that we each consider for ourselves what is really important and examine things more logically before attacking or condemning others. If you don’t, you’re no better than Hitler, Mussolini, or John Meyer.

© 2010, Joe Little. All rights reserved.

4 Comments

  1. Isn’t John Meyer a singer?

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Permalink
  2. Also…awesome post man. I couldn’t agree more. I think perhaps the realization or maybe our ability to perceive a lack of logic is due largely to us being programmers. If you think about it…our whole mode of thought is logic driven because of our work.

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink
  3. Joe Little wrote:

    Hitler is to Babies as John Meyer is to Hitler.

    Yeah … think on that one … scary isn’t it? And we just let this guy run around making “music”. *shudder*

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Permalink
  4. Chuck wrote:

    For several of Amy’s attacks on Steven she is making more of an attack on his credentials, saying ‘who are you to be an expert on this when you’re only 23 and have never had sex?’ She also attacks his sources to some extent, basically saying that the stats that he lists off are bogus. That said, it is clear that she took personal offense to his article and her only response was to attack, both him personally and his credentials.

    It is a perfectly valid tactic in debate to make the audience question the credentials of your opponent’s source, or your opponent himself. Unfortunately this doesn’t actually do anything to the argument, just to the one presenting it. It will win you that debate though.

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Permalink