Editorial: The Dying Art of Disagreement

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - I'm sure you join me in being disappointed again, with Congress not working together to accomplish anything positive-- things that we voted to change!

That's because there isn't a lot of room for disagreement these days. Whatever side people are on, they are completely sure that they are right.

I read an interesting speech the other day, by a man named Bret Stephens, called The Dying Art of Disagreement. It talks about how no one knows how to disagree anymore.

A recent poll shows over half of college students think it's okay to shout down a speaker they disagree with. One in five thinks it's okay to use violence to prevent a speaker from speaking.

This is a nation founded on disagreement. But we need to be able to talk about things rationally. We need to actually hear the other side's opinion.

Too many people surround themselves with friends and "news outlets" that simply tell them exactly what they want to hear.

What side are you on in the Anthem controversy... or gun violence? Do you listen to the arguments that people make on the other side?

A lot of people just 'de-friend' opposing views on Facebook, and share story after story that takes their point of view, congratulating themselves by how many of their friends like their post.

The same friends that always like their post. But did they really learn anything?

Did they come any closer to understanding what other people might think? Or do they even care?

When Lincoln was President, he surrounded himself people who had very different views, including three who actually ran against him in the 1860 election. They helped him keep a country together.

Right now, that should be our focus; working together.

In his speech, Mr. Stephens said 'to disagree well,  you have to understand well,' and to do that, all of us are going to need to do a lot more listening.

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