Bret Stephens is an Australian journalist who has some thoughts on how to disagree that are very much worth your time. You can read a transcript of the lecture at the New York Times if your preferred medium, like mine, is text.
I particularly like Stephen’s discussion of the function of the press in a democracy. The role of the press is to make sure that arguments are made clearly and misunderstandings of the key points are avoided. It is not the job of the press to tell autonomous, thinking, intelligent, adult citizens what to think.
Grownups get to decide for themselves what to think. The role of the press is to provide accurate information.
And that’s it.
Michael Hayden, writing for Newsweek, is struggling to do that job. We spoke at length about suffrage, women’s role in any political movement and the alt-right. He reduced our discussion to a comment about my childhood experiences with the Seventh Day Adventist cult, probably to imply that I am currently a fundamentalist Christian zealot, which of course is not true. He mentioned that I don’t support the right of women to vote, but did not bother to even superficially explain any of my arguments for that, although he called back to continue our discussion. I guess I’m grateful that he did not call me a white supremacist, but he didn’t quote my repeated assertion that I am a Western supremacist, either.
All cultures are not equal, as Hayden himself implies with his reduction of my personality and philosophy to fundamentalist Christianity. I’m not offended by that, it’s just not accurate. It continues to amaze me that AltLeft journalists and cultural commentators use ‘fundamentalist Christian’ as a dog whistle for a Hitlerian culture that must be crushed under heel like a serpent, but have no fear or suspicion of fundamentalist Islam.
It’s been a long time since Protestants burned anyone at the stake.
Islam did that, oh, last week.
What Hayden does get right is my assertion that families need a parent at home, which is better than misrepresenting me to have said mothers should stay home.
I didn’t say mothers, but again, Hayden makes no attempt to make my arguments clear.
My impression in speaking to Hayden is that he is thoughtful and would very much prefer to simply lay out various arguments and let people think for themselves – he was very open to that basic principle, even though he didn’t like a lot of my ideas. But of course, he works in an industry where that isn’t permitted. The role of most #AltLeft journalists is to …..
…. choose submission to grow the movement.
Seems like everyone loves a good patriarchy.
Lots of love,