What Happened to Open Debate? (More on Lieberman)

This article at the New York Times reveals an interesting perspective on Senator Lieberman’€™s position on the Iraq war:

[Senator Lieberman] said the two sides were making too much of his comments, and he argued that the overreactions reflected how politically polarized the debate over the war had become.
“The positive and negative reactions may have less to do with the substance of what I said than with the fact that a Democrat is saying it,” Mr. Lieberman said. “€œIt reflects the terribly divisive state of our politics.”

The senator has a point. I made a big deal out of his seemingly pro-Iraq war comments in my recent post. I think my reaction and that of many others was guided at least partly by politically polarized, agenda oriented motives.

The general idea we can distill from all of this is that in the current state of things, there is little openness or even freedom of thought and expression for our nation’€™s leaders because partisans and special interests try to force them into one or the other ideological mold. Perhaps the most creative and effective solutions to our nation’s problems are being quashed in the contest of ideas that has become—instead of a fair fight in which the best ideas win—a war of attrition.

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