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Marlon Jones

Gear Up Liaison, Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education: GEAR UP

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"...but I'll defend to the death your right to say it… Really?"

Voltaire once said “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it” Would I? Really? While maybe not dead, civility is definitely paralyzed in our country, in our communities, and in our homes. At what point did it become easier to antagonize, patronize, and vilify the “other” instead of conducting a reasoned discussion about the perplexing issues that surround us? Well into the machinations of the most recent elections it was being reported by various media sources that Americans were more divided than during any other time in history. There is simply something that does not sound quite right about that statement. Is it possible to have an honest and reasoned discussion? Is it possible to objectively consider an opposing point of view? Do we even agree on what the problems are? Disagreements are inevitable but being disagreeable is not. What do you think?

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    Nov 13 2012: "...it was being reported by various media sources that Americans were more divided than during any other time in history..."

    I beg to differ! The Civil War was such a time when we were more divided. With so many republicans petitioning to succeed from the union because they didn't get their way, it does hearken back to the civil war era. I wonder if that great divide in our nation never really properly healed?

    In terms of being disagreeable, some of our presidents actually engaged in duels to settle challenges. Politics has always been a brutal, nasty affair. It's not about playing fair. It's about winning.

    I don't think these two sides want to have a reasoned debate. I think they agree to disagree. I think that's the problem.
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      Nov 13 2012: There will probably always be the haves and the have=nots and I doubt they will come to any concensus on this matter.
      • Nov 13 2012: When you look at the USA from the viewpoint of the poorest of humanity, the USA has a society of haves and have-mores. Perhaps we can encourage consensus by encouraging a wider perspective .

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