Political discourse and the destruction of political activity
September 21, 2004
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An amazingly cogent rant by Mark Liberman on the current political discourse, which centers on impossible to recall events of decades ago instead of the real issues:
We have free speech in this country, and access to a magnificently flexible and expressive language. This power of linguistic expression, granted to our species alone it would seem, is strong magic. We must be very careful what we do with it. This descent into slander and false memory recovery and document forgery and history denial and mutual accusations of cowardice and treachery is not the free discussion of political matters that the authors of the First Amendment envisaged for us. It is not political activity at all; it is the destruction of political activity.