The Sick Recipe Responsible for Today’s Crazy Public Discourse

by Dr. David Gruder

Today’s public discourse is arguably the weirdest and craziest it’s been since the left-leaning radicalism of the 1960s and the right-leaning radicalism during 1950s McCarthy era that helped spawn the equal but opposite radicalism of the 1960s.

Today’s New Silent Majority knows that the rules running our public discourse today are truly sick. They don’t like these rules at all, but they also don’t know how to restore a more productive set of rules for public discourse — the ones that enabled the framers of the United States Constitution to pool their seemingly opposing perspectives to create that profoundly remarkable document. (Today’s New Silent Majority is the vast numbers of people from all walks of life, all  positions in society, and the entire political and faith spectrum, who are profoundly distressed by the pervasive integrity deficits that have caused today’s problems, including our current sick recipe for public discourse and problem-solving.)

What we’re doing isn’t working. For starters, we need to dramatically revise the rules that guide public discourse. Understanding the damaging recipe currently being used to guide public discourse is the first step toward doing that.

Here are the three ingredients being used to destroy constructive public discourse in today’s highly charged political climate:

Ingredient #1: Take a Position — Take your position first, based on the ideological preconceptions you hold dear. Rely on your preconceptions to determine your picture of the problem or the solution, instead of finding out all the facts or allowing the full picture to reveal itself on its own terms without preconceptions.

Ingredient #2: Find Facts to Support It — Search for facts you can use to support your position. Position those facts as being the most important ones of all and frame them in the most positive light possible.

Ingredient #3: Disregard or Disparage Facts That Don’t — Ignore facts that don’t support your position OR distort those facts in the most disparaging ways possible.

Cooking Instructions: Vigorously blend these three ingredients while insisting that this recipe is the formula for clear, rational thinking. Indoctrinate highly influential people in business, religion, politics and the media into using this sick recipe during public discourse. Repeat as often as possible so that today’s New Silent Majority feels so confused and helpless that it doesn’t know what to do to end this sick form of public discourse.

The Big Secret About This Recipe: Lack of civility is a form of coercion. Coercion is manipulation. It is tyranny. It is fascism’s favorite tactic. Coercion has never worked as a problem-solving strategy because it is utterly incapable of creating sustainable solutions. Yet coercion is now well on its way to replacing compromise as the problem-strategy of choice in our culture. Want to know the real, deeply unconscious, reason behind this momentum away from compromise? I reveal it in my next IntegrityWatch Blog post.

To learn more about this extremely dangerous recipe, read these other IntegrityWatch Blog posts:

For a practical road-tested solution you can implement in your own life and as a concerned citizen, read my five-award-winning book for today’s New Silent Majority on how to create sustainable happiness and solutions without sacrificing integrity and social responsibility, The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships & Our World.

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