We were glad today to get a glimpse of John Hood's progressive reading list. His column included a mention of BlueNC, as well as a number of other progressive North Carolina blogs. It also included this provocative paragraph . . .
As I’ve discussed in the past, I think it is critically important for everyone engaged in political or philosophical debate to make an effort to understand the arguments of others. It helps with framing one’s own arguments or rebuttals. It also leaves open the possibility, which seems ever-more-remote in today’s tropical climate of political rhetoric, that one might actually be persuaded and change one’s mind on an issue.
I don't think the possibility of persuasion is remote at all. In my own personal journey over the past 35 years, my ideas about the rights and obligations of civilized societies have been dramatically transformed, often triggered by reading an insightful point-of-view from someone I initially disagreed with. That journey began when I entered the US Naval Academy at the age of 17, and it has been a long and winding road. Today, my views have sharpened into a focus one three important ideals: integrity, competence and the common good.
I suspect that most CJ regulars would even share these ideals, though there's probably a fair amount of disagreement over what the common good really is. So perhaps we can set that aside and focus on integrity and competence. Would any honest person argue that the Republican domination of federal government over the past five years has been a showcase for integrity and competence? And if not, why in heaven's name aren't conservatives up in arms?