The Point Of Having A Viewpoint . . .

Ashwin’s comment on the Tea Party post preceding this one chides me for what he sees as my coming to any debate from a Liberal perspective. I disagree that I “always” see things as a Liberal; more than once I’ve dismayed my lefty friends with some of my beliefs, and yet I freely acknowledge that in most areas of public policy, I find that the Biblical counsel dictates a course of action that the Left embraces more readily than the Right. I know Ashwin remembers that the Biblical testimony is the standard, not the party affiliation, and I’m sure he’ll recognize that he tends to almost always approach things from the right end of the spectrum.

But isn’t that the point — that is, isn’t “having a point” worthy of defense the entire reason we ever engage in discussion or debate? Or do we castigate people for HAVING a point of view, which invariably will tend to settle on one side of the continuum or the other, rather than for the content of the views they hold?

In other words, wouldn’t it be better, and wouldn’t it further greater understanding, if we engaged with people — argued, even, with people — over the actual things they believe and advocate, rather than contend with them for simply having an opinion in the first place? I would rather that my critics, acknowledging that “what’s true about Keely” is that she tends to be a Liberal, deal with me about WHY my opinions fall where they do, instead of dismissing me simply because I embrace a point of view. Obviously, you can’t engage critically or with clarity when dealing with someone who believes, say, that toddlers should vote or that holding kidnapped slaves represents the best of Biblical ideals, but I think not even Ashwin would consign my moderate liberalism to the Gehenna of crazy talk we occasionally hear.

Leave a Reply