Relying on a story from the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, Joe Scarborough called Obama the most polarizing President of our times on Twitter Friday. Because I have an empty life, most of which is frittered away on Twitter (I’m being sarcastic) I followed the conversation over the weekend, and it certainly depressed me.
People on Twitter who are on the “left” called Scarborough a racist, and accused him of supporting such activities as waterboarding and of ‘inciting rage.” He answered many of them back, citing facts and information, trying to call for fairness. He didn’t get down to the fighting words, either. He tried to have a “conversation.”
I am not a Republican, nor am I a conservative. My business buddies in Arizona have often accused me of socialist leanings when I talk about the universal right of Americans to health care.
But I listen to “Morning Joe” as often as I can wake myself at 3AM, which is when it airs in Arizona and California, and as much as I don’t always agree with Joe, I find he’s at least open to Obama’s presidency and willing to praise Obama for what he does well. And if you read the article from the Pew Center, it does lead off with how much gap there is in Obama’s approval ratings between Republicans and Democrats — 61%. Many Republicans I know think Obama is making us into Europe and going to take away our right to defend ourselves and hand the country over to Hugo Chavez in exchange for a book.
As Joe is finding out, it’s getting harder and harder, even in the world of Facebook, Twitter, and Friendfeed, with all the tools available to us, for people who disagree to have a “conversation.” Is there no place for independent thought? Respectful arguments?