Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

January 17, 2014

CECIL BOHANON: Political discourse divisive because opponents convinced they're right

That's why discourse on issues so divisive

(Continued)

Finally, the narcissism of my generation — the baby boomers — has become a permanent feature of our culture. An “it’s all about me” attitude extends beyond materialistic selfishness. It also fuels intellectual and moral arrogance. The “I’m always right, I never lie and I am a morally superior creature” posture comes naturally to the self-absorbed person. A logical extension of this view is that those who disagree with me must be liars as well as my intellectual and moral inferiors.

I confess I have sinned on all three margins. More important, however, both sides of the political divide are guilty of these sins in equal proportion. Both left and right generally applaud their own purveyors of vitriol as heroic and thought-provoking commentators while condemning the other side’s as hateful demagogues. Both left and right stay in their own media bubble. Both left and right are convinced of their own intrinsic intellectual and moral superiority while impugning the motives of their political opponents.

As stated at the outset, there is no obvious remedy.

Cecil Bohanon, Ph.D., is an adjunct scholar with the Indiana Policy Review Foundation and professor of economics at Ball State University. Contact him at cbohanon@bsu.edu.

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