Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Motives vs. Consequences

Instapundit posted a wonderful open letter to Paul Krugman from Arnold King, a fellow MIT graduate of Krugman's. King talks about the differences between thoughtful ways of having a debate on issues... one that focuses on the potential consequences or results of a particular policy, and debate-ending methods...ones that focus on the motives of the party advocating a particular policy. Smart stuff... and nails the issue I think and what tends to be so frustrating about political discussion these days. It is impossible to have a real conversation on Iraq or school vouchers or taxation or anything without it becoming a conversation-ending accusation of imperialism, racism or class warfare. That is horrible. Krugman is the king of the motives style of debating. It is all about accusations against Bush and his motives. No real thoughtful conversation about the merits. And it really epitomizes the positions articulated by the angry left these days. And it is nothing new. The right has done it too, when it lost its mind and was out of power. But it seems to be getting worse.

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