While writing on charitable discourse it seems that Conor Friedersdorf manages to be uncharitable toward others with whom he disagrees. While I disagree with pretty much all of his assessments and assumptions of conservative pundits his ideas on charitable discourse seem interesting.
I believe that approaching things in a charitable manner and thus engaging those with whom we both agree or disagree using charitable discourse is the right thing to do, good and prudent. But, if a person comes along and makes outlandish statements and assumptions about your motives instead of debating using facts then one may not be able to be charitable. Should a person base his charitableness in public discourse on the basis of one’s education, knowledge on a subject, gender or political ideology? Does having a college degree make you smarter or more knowledgeable? Does having a higher college degree give someone the right to think that they are better or smarter than you? Are we susceptible as human beings to be more charitable to those we agree with? How come some that have called for charitable public discourse seem to only follow that rule with those with whom they agree, those who are anonymous, or those who they have never met but treat people they have met and know harshly? There can be tough debate while being charitable at the same time. The moderator or blog owner need to be fair and consistent with regards to what comments he/she deems to be inappropriate. Can one’s political ideology blind them to the truth in recognizing evil in the world or when there is one or more threats on the American people?
In most cases even though I am upfront and use a direct approach with what I state on my blog I try to be charitable. But, if a person (usually liberal) appears on my blog and makes ad hominem attacks or outrageous statements then, for me being charitable goes out the window.