Prefer engagement to invective

Ann Coulter challenges liberals to engage conservatives in real debate instead of Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right. Instead of destroying opponents or silencing dissident opinions, strive to win arguments. A false argument should be refuted, not named. That’s the basic idea behind freedom of speech. Arguments by demonization, rather than truth and light, can be presumed fraudulent. More takeaways from this read:

  • To win a free competition of ideas, one must have some. -Rush Limbaugh (from his forward)
  • Avoid secondary distractions while achieving primary objectives (e.g. addressing lies instead of speaking the truth).
  • News reporting must not be political propaganda.
  • Beware of words like moderate, liberal, conservative…whose meaning varies based on context and author.

Frankly, I need to expand my working vocabulary…or I should carry a dictionary with me when I read Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism.

Aside: John Montgomery‘s comments about cynicism vs. skepticism (e.g. in the software industry) resonate with me, too.

Update 12/1/2008: For more of my book reviews and to see what else is in my book library (i.e. just the business-related or software-related non-fiction therein), please visit my Books page.