Tuesday, January 20, 2009

To Every Argument Its Season

I will probably disagree with many of the policies of Barack Obama during the next eight years. As for now, I am extremely happy to see a nation coming together to celebrate the peaceful transfer of power which has been a hallmark of American democracy.

There really has only been one transfer of power that led to civil war. Oddly, that happened with the election of the First Republican president Abraham Lincoln. After the 1860 election the pro-slavery faction of the Democratic Party was so upset they chose to secede from the union.

I mention this as odd because Barack Obama, a person hoping to unite the nation, made numerous symbolic gestures towards Lincoln during his inauguration. In the 1860s, the partisan hatred of Lincoln was so great it threw our nation in to civil war. It was even worse than the hatred toward George W. Bush.

Being consumed by partisan hatred tears a nation apart.

One of the most effective cures of this affliction is for people to measure their partisan loyalties to the occasion.

A primary concern of our nation's schools is to raise good citizens. One of the hardest lessons for a student to learn is when an argument is appropriate. Our nation has well defined election cycles with a campaign, inauguration and legislative seasons.

A good citizen will be attentive and weigh their speech to the season.

For this reason, I will disagree with Liberating Education on the decision of the Dayton schools to discourage inappropriate comments during the inauguration.

It is possible that the school system is trying to pull the trick of openly encouraging agitation when the opposition is in power and stifling debate when their party is in power.

Obama's apparent move toward the center is strikingly similar to Bush's move to the center.

We are wise to watch the different treatment that the press and education establishment give to Obama v. Bush. We are wise to report on open efforts of partisan institutions to manipulate opinion.

The reported incident occurred during a time when respect for tradition was due.

Back to the Ugly Business of Blogging

PS: After writing this great conciliatory post, I decided to take my own advice and temporarily curb my plans to protests at funerals. I am still clinging to my core belief that funerals for the living be given equal legal status as funerals for the dead. But, I will cut out the protests at funerals for the moment.

The world could use a bit more civility, after all. ;)

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