Letter: Allowing thoughtful political discourse

Write to Mountain Xpress
Graphic by Lori Deaton

I just finished with Max Hunt’s Nov. 8 article [“Everyday People: Local Activists Strive for Social Change,” Xpress]. I would not be surprised if this article generates some vituperative attitudes and words from various sides of the political spectrum. Why? Because of this: The article humanizes and subjectifies each movement’s spokesperson — nonetheless, in a political and discursive milieu that is often hellbent on objectifying and oversimplifying people, what they stand for and the movements they represent.

Kudos for reaching out and giving these folks a chance to speak on what they are about and why. Such efforts are quite rare in today’s media culture, which seems much more interested in fueling hysteria and xenophobia than in real dialogue, and in drawing hard lines through political issues than in explaining nuanced political positions that break preconceived boxes (e.g., gun-toting leftists or Confederate battle flag-lovers reaching out to BLM and LGBTQ folks).

This is not only informative, but by making such nuanced positions and groups more public, it gives citizens permission to embrace and express nuanced and thoughtful political positions rather than always choosing one of only two mostly illusory and contrived sides.

I would venture to guess that there are members of each of the movements cited who are more myopic and intransigent than this article seeks to expose or explore, but I think we can already gather that from the existing mainstream discourse.

In my daughter’s elementary school, they constantly coach the kids to “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Along with a handful of other mantras, I see it written on take-home handouts, her folder, posters in the hallways. I must admit that as much this phrase has been ingrained into my memory, and how often I even remind my daughter of it — I think I fail pretty miserably at it most of the time. Thanks for the reminder.

— Jordan Foltz
Asheville

SHARE
About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

3 thoughts on “Letter: Allowing thoughtful political discourse

  1. Alan Ditmore

    The wingers on both wings work hard to topple the corrupt, establishment center, sometimes together but more often knowingly in parallel, such as on NAFTA,CAFTA,TPP unfree trade and NIMBY snob ZONING!

  2. Lulz

    LOL, but when your policies are merely to extract resources from those that work and of course vilify them as privileged because of the skin tone but in reality they didn’t make poor choices, there can be no peace. Sure you can claim that your progress is the best course but in all reality those who you blame will need to succumb to state sponsored slavery and the direct extraction of their labor to be distributed to others as a form of fairness lulz. Good luck with that long term as all it sets up is conflict. And not the type that can be solved peacefully LOL. All one has to do is look at the poet who tried to take the Lee plaque off of Pack Square to realize the insanity of it all. She is by no means under served in this nation. If anything, she shows us the decadence of far left liberalism to its full effect. And her poor choices will not be paid by her. But with the full expectation that others serve her needs or be judged as nonconforming to her privilege.

    • Alan Ditmore

      The elite have far more than the market earned them. ONLY BIG GOVERNMENT can produce the kind of wealth disparity the US has today. It is far more unequal than any free market could ever produce. Case in point, housing speculation based on elitist government ZONING!

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.