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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Boycotting Extremist Rhetoric

The Guardian interviewed Al Gore today during a visit to the UK.
Al Gore has made his sharpest attack yet on the George Bush presidency, describing the current US administration as "a renegade band of rightwing extremists".
This comment reminds me of playing the dozens. Somehow it wasn't enough to call the Bush administration "rightwing" or "extremists". Nope. The administration is "renegade" and is a "band". Seems like he left out the "on the prowl". And I'm not sure why he didn't refer to Bush himself as "Mr. Poopy-Pants".

How in the world can journalists keep a straight face when public figures make such outlandish statements?

It seems as if each week another public figure tries to one-up last week's outlandish statement about their political opponents. Both sides are guilty of this, with some conservatives referring to "Godless liberals". Such mindless drivel!

At what point are the American people going to stop putting up with such juvenile behavior?

Maybe this is inevitable in a political environment that practically guarantees reelection for incumbents. What is the point in engaging in thoughtful discussion about issues and seeking common ground?

I'm not willing to accept that and my guess is that I am not alone. The problem in our country isn't that people have taken extremist positions on issues; it is that people are using extremist rhetoric.

I have strived from the very beginning to create meaningful dialogue here at Dignan's 75 Year Plan and have been pleased with the results so far. But it is time to kick it up a notch. In the coming days and weeks, look for me to be talking about how we can create dialogue and community across ideological lines. Who is with me?

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