By SHERRI RUGGIERI
After watching, listening, and reading the news from various sources, my mind shutdown. Unlike the government, my decision was unrelated to money, power, or political parties. What happened to the art of the argument in political debate? When did it become all about venom and animosity? Weren’t the essential elements of democracy the freedom to debate by viewing the issue from various perspectives? I taught my college students to always consider the other side’s position. We studied logical fallacies (false logic) and learned about “argumentum ad hominem” (latin for an attack of a person’s character, physical attributes, and/or motives). Fallacies distract from the debate topic/real issues.
In Ethics class, I revealed how policies with “good intentions” can be the most destructive. The lines of right and wrong quickly blur once decisions are implemented. “To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction” (Issac Newton) Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/isaac_newton_382602 However, respectful arguments allow for compromise and inspire creative solutions. Our founding fathers and mothers provided a framework for the freedom to argue to agree. They never envisioned how political parties (factions and special interests) would divide the nation. Attacks “on and of the person” don’t move us forward. I must shutout the constant babbling.
Sherri Ruggieri is the managing editor of Empire State News. A practicing attorney for over 20 years, Ms. Ruggieri is also chairperson of Edison Township’s Planning Board. Additionally, she has served as a college professor, with nearly a decade of experience in teaching law and political science courses.
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