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Filtering by Tag: sincerity

Politics is hard y'all

There are some things that we do rightly take to be basic principles of decency.  These things, like treating good people well, we don't have to justify further.  Some things have to be fundamental, otherwise we would face an infinite regress of justifications.  But it seems to me politics is rarely a place where truly fundamental principles are at play.  It's too derivative of more basic moral beliefs, and of tough empirical questions like what makes the economy better and how to measure it. 

Yet increasingly it seems that a political disagreement entails a deep hatred.  It is so easy to anger either side and short-circuit any productive conversation that all of politics now seems like screaming and taking advantage of momentary power. 

I think the main thing I advocate for in politics now is that politics is hard.  We can disagree and still be good people.  Our deepest held values are located somewhere else, like in how we choose to treat neighbors and friends daily, not here in politics.  The salient judgment about people in a conversation isn't whether they're a liberal or a conservative, but whether they're sincere.  If a racist wants to have a sincere conversation, where she's truly open to introspecting, offering her honest reasons, and changing her mind with adequate evidence--I'll have that conversation gladly.  The same for a communist, a theist, and anyone else. 

Sincerity matters more than nearly anything else.