Is it just my imagination

I have this sinking feeling in my gut that Americans are quickly becoming more polarized than any time I can remember, and I am old. I sense that we have little respect for our Constitution and for our long tradition of disagreeing without being disagreeable. Is this just imagination? I think not.

Some of my posts have been greeted with hatred and vitriol because someone disagrees with me. Honest debate is healthy. Resorting to hateful remarks, with no cited justification, is not healthy. Such remarks indicate some mean-spirited motive.

We can and should do better. I welcome challenges to my views. But I would prefer that such challenges contain at least a scintilla of evidence. So far, I have seen little. Just anger and vitriol.

I believe, honestly, that informed debate is one key to arriving at truth. This is the essence of science. Reasonable people debate in professional journals the merits of certain propositions.

Think of Milton Friedman’s quantity theory of money. He was ridiculed initially. But after years of debate, most economists have come to realize that there was a tremendous wealth of truth in his arguments.

Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman debated for years the importance of the creation of money by the Fed. But they were always respectful of each other. They were scientists.

I can think of no reason for hating someone for their opinions. I will admit, however, that I find it very hard not to hate Hitler and his sycophants. That is my own shortcoming, and I have a few.

In summary, I would encourage you to debate and disagree. But base your arguments on evidence, not hatred.

Thank you,

Robert

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