What Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert show us about America's true political center(Read article summary)
Disagreement isn't the problem. How we disagree, is.
Jacquelyn Martin / AP
The true center of American politics isnâ€™t found where most of us agree. We fiercely disagree. Thatâ€™s not a problem. Democracy assumes disagreement.
The true center is about how we resolve those disagreements. Most of us believe we should work them out respectfully.
We donâ€™t believe in winning political arguments through bullying, name-calling, lying, intimidating, or using violence.
In other words, the political center isnâ€™t about what we decide Itâ€™s about how we decide. A central tenet of American democracy is a commitment vigorous debate, done honestly and civilly.
Thatâ€™s why some of what weâ€™ve been witnessing recently is troubling.
Consider the foot-stomping incident in Kentucky by Rand Paul supporters, just outside a Senate debate. Or Alaska GOP Senate candidate Joe Millerâ€™s security detail handcuffing a reporter from a liberal-leaning website.
Consider last yearâ€™s congressional town hall meetings where members of Congress were shouted down, a Tampa town hall meeting turned violent, and gunshots were fired at Democratic campaign headquarters in Arizona.
Consider the outright lies about â€śdeath panels,â€ť â€śgovernment takeovers,â€ť and the Presidentâ€™s nationality.
Consider Rep. Joe Wilsonâ€™s â€śyou lieâ€ť outburst against the President on the House floor.
And the vitriol emanating at all hours from rage radio, yell television, and Fox News â€“ against immigrants, intellectuals, â€ścoastal elites,â€ť gays, and the President.
Weâ€™re better than this.
This is not respectful disagreement. Itâ€™s thuggery. It has no legitimate role in a democracy. And most Americans are fed up with it.
Sadly, we needed two comedians to remind us.
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