Friday, January 28, 2011

How to respond to Michelle Bachman

From a great blog post on by Paul Thornton ...

The problem is that [U.S. Rep. Michelle] Bachmann is a sought-after pundit in the first place. Much of her brand is bombast, which brings with it a less-than-wholesome treatment of the truth. Getting into a tizzy over her untrue, yet confident, utterances gives her more airtime than her intellectual heft deserves. Of course, this means the non-Fox News broadcasters would have to resist the temptation to invite her on as a commentator. No objections here.

Like many liberals and rationalists, I get frustrated when I see and hear how alarmist comments from the Tea Party and its favorite politicians and commentators generate enthusiasm from people. It's like arguing with Creationists about evolution and the age of the Earth. How does one have a reasonable discussion when the premises fundamentally conflict?

Thorton's blog post reminded me of advice I try to dispense to my students: being the cooler head in a disagreement will hardly ever hurt you. Rather than try to out-yell or out-scare or out-blame people like Glenn Beck and Bachmann, we should ignore them.

No comments: