Contributed by: filbert Friday, October 13 2006 @ 08:35 AM CST
What is most missing from the left in America is an element of grace--of civic grace, democratic grace, the kind that assumes disagreements are part of the fabric, but we can make the fabric hold together. The Democratic Party hasn't had enough of this kind of thing since Bobby Kennedy died. What also seems missing is the courage to ask a question. Conservatives these days are asking themselves very many questions, but I wonder if the left could tolerate asking itself even a few. Such as: Why are we producing so many adherents who defy the old liberal virtues of free and open inquiry, free and open speech? Why are we producing so many bullies? And dim dullard ones, at that.Most reasonable folks on the center/right of the political agenda (and I'd hope to be included in that number) are desperate for a level of intellectual discourse with those on the left that rises above mindless angry sloganeering and outright suppression of speech, as happened recently at Columbia University.