by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
Today’s discourse is a bit like the playground taunting I remember in elementary school: “You’re an idiot, shouts one kid.” “No, you’re the idiot,” the other kid spits back. At least that’s the language we used several decades ago. Today’s vitriol is so rotten – even from kids – that I won’t write the words on this page.
What comes next in this cycle is predictable. Things escalate. As the taunts continue, the crowd forms on the playground. The two sides begin upping the ante. Positions harden. Friends become enemies. Defeating the enemy becomes the goal, whatever it takes. Nothing is out of bounds. Nothing is deemed too outrageous to say or allege.
This brings me to today’s Real Clear Politics headlines. Read each one out loud and you’ll realize that the playground crowds have formed in our country. Go ahead. Scroll down and read all 17 headlines out loud.
We seem to be engaged in an all-or-nothing battle fueled by an unshakeable belief that “our” side is 100% right, and “their” side is 100% wrong. If you’ve lived life for a few years, you know there are few instances in which that is true. Why don’t we recognize that?