Repression in the service of making one’s point

“John Stuart Mill made a shrewd, and wise, observation about the nature of most philosophical debates. In his splendid essay on Coleridge, he pointed out that both sides in intellectual controversies tended to be “in the right in what they affirmed, though in the wrong in what they denied.” Mill’s insight into the nature of intellectual discourse shines light on many disagreements: Whether it is conservatives debating liberals, parents arguing with their children, or a lovers’ quarrel, almost invariably something is being repressed in the service of making one’s point.” –Richard Tarnas



The low road, version 1.0

As news from the campaign trail get uglier and uglier, as fact takes a back seat to whatever the character assassination flavor-of-the-day, as one needs to bathe after the simple act of watching the evening news, it’s about time for this blast from the past:

In 1800, the Federalist Gazette suggested that if Jefferson were elected over Adams, they would see a devastation of “those morals which protect our lives from the knife of the assassin – which guard the chastity of our wives and daughters from seduction and violence.”

In their version of today’s editorial endorsement, they wrote:

At the present solemn and momentous epoch, the only question to be asked by every American, laying his hand on his heart, is “Shall I continue in allegiance to GOD AND A RELIGIOUS PRESIDENT; or impiously declare for JEFFERSON AND NO GOD!!!”

Worth noting for an advocate of civility in politics (and perhaps duly noted by media critics)?

Jefferson won anyway.