I lost interest not far into this quest to step back from partisan lines have more objective debates and opinions. It took a while giving it a passing thought here and there to understand why. The simple explanation is that there is very little interest or use to knowing an objectively correct answer in today’s political climate. It may even be a source of demoralization or frustration.
And to be clear by objectively correct I don’t mean some smug position that there is one true correct answer and it’s the one that I’ve arrived at. It means that given the information it is a logical solution. Masks are a good recent example there could be two objective solutions of competing ideologies as to who and where mandates can be implemented and enforced. There could be debates about their effectiveness. However there shouldn’t be a debate about whether they “work”. An equivalent example from the left may be debating the prominence or tax structures surrounding landlords, a reasonable threshold to a person to buy instead of rent is an acceptable debate. However, property confiscation, a “right” to shelter with costs absorbed anywhere except the tenant are not.
This is an important distinction and one that has been totally lost by a significant segment of the population. Unable to recognize what a reasonable debate looks like, it frees up the ability to use any conceivable counterpoint as the only justification needed to support any behavior. So the value in knowing correct answers isn’t there, because what may take 6 months of difficult research and debate to arrive at can be refuted by nonsense.
I’m sure there are multiple factors contributing to this, some by design and some natural. The one that concerns me the most and that may allow us to move into some significant turmoil is losing the hard bought wisdom and leadership of the greatest generation.
To focus on what we can control and what provides the best return on investment I believe something similar to the Fairness Doctrine be considered.
Pointing back to early thoughts about objective ideological debates and their difficulty, legislating what can be broadcast, or advertised as news, etc will be tough to negotiate. However, given what we’ve seen over the last several years there shouldn’t be any debate over whether some action is necessary. Similar to debating whether “masks” work, we shouldn’t have to debate whether a significant portion of the population can’t recognize propaganda or can’t evaluate conflicting information is a sustainable trait.