I promised myself I would not get involved in the political arguments currently waging on the internet, so I will try to keep this post as non-partisan as possible. It will either insult both sides or (I hope) give both something to think about. I’ve noticed that one of the characteristics of the current argument has been the “all-or-nothing” approach being taken by both sides. “All Republicans are stupid” gets equal time with “All Democrats are liberal idiots.” The assumption seems to be that there can be no middle ground—that you must either agree with everything a candidate stands for or reject the whole platform because you disagree with some part of it. Unfortunately, such an approach makes civilized discussion a thing of the past. (End of introductory rant)
This morning, I stumbled upon a quote that caught my attention and seemed to sum up what is wrong with the all-or-nothing approach. I was looking for a particular illustration of a Civil War ship, and one of my possible sources was Robert N. Rosen’s Confederate Charleston: An Illustrated History of the City and the People during the Civil War (1994). In his preface, he discusses the conflict he felt as a child between his love of his home town, Charleston, and the distress he felt about a war that its citizens fought over slavery. And then he says this:
What good advice for all of us!