I believe in friendly debate, without rancor or personal animosity. But sometimes, the issues being debated become so personal that emotional involvement is unavoidable.
I don’t see, for example, how you and I could unemotionally debate the failure of the current Congress to fulfill its obligation to the US Constitution.
We would be discussing an issue that critically impacts my family’s welfare and my grandsons’ legacy.
And that’s personal.
The Republicans who dominate this Congress will forever be remembered as the most shameless collection of toadies in America’s history.
Consider, for example, their pitifully obvious attempts to shield the president from exposure and prosecution, their failure to oppose his dangerous relationship with Putin, their dereliction of duty in allowing the kidnapping and imprisonment of helpless babies – and the many other abuses of power of which this president is so blatantly guilty.
So why do I care? What does all this political claptrap have to do with me?
Well, it not only offends my sense of right and wrong, it creates a hostile environment and conjures up a frightening future for me and my family.
I feel threatened by the president’s persistent demonizing of immigrants like me, his agitation of white resentment and racist rage – and the rest of his dangerous demagoguery.
At such a time, don’t expect me to be amicable – or even impersonal – if you defend this Congress and this president.
I am angered by their outrageous disregard for everything that makes America a wonderful country for my wife and me to enjoy and for my children and grandchildren to inherit.
I am angered by the perceived threat to our personal freedoms, to my American citizenship – even possibly to my life and to the lives of my loved ones.
Surely, you must understand that your arguments would just make me angrier, not persuade me.
You know the old saying:
A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
Not just of the same opinion but even more stubbornly committed to defending that opinion. And defending it emotionally, not just intellectually.