We have taken the marketplace of ideas to the extreme – Every public thing we do is done as an adversarial relationship – our courts, politics, even the commercials on TV. There are only two sides; each side takes its best shot, no matter how extreme or wrong; and the educated voter or juror is left to decide.
This is why the founders wanted an informed people. If it is a government of the people and by the people – the people need to make informed decisions that are not based on magic, religion, prejudice or a personal history of family abuse.
What we have now is not about truth, right and wrong, or respect – it’s a sport called ‘competitive argument winning’ where the winner decides absolute outcome – very Darwinian – very American, and clinically brutal.
Other countries sometimes just try to decide the next best thing to do, understanding we live in an imperfect world with very individual people. They don’t find professional champions to joust and stab until a decision has been killed, left bruised and naked on the plains of mars, like a violently shaken magic eight ball.
This might be one of our strengths as a country, but it sure makes a lot of racket in the crunching.