Some Rules for Discussion

Thank you all for your comments and interest in discussing current affairs and public policy on the blog.

I think it’s a good idea at this point to review some ground rules for discussion on the blog. We’ve enjoyed a lively but overwhelmingly respectful discussion about a variety of topics here. That will continue.

What is going on in our country right now is challenging, to say the least. Hurling insults at each other is hardly going to help the situation. Assessing blame is constructive up to a point. Taking personal responsibility for our words and actions is more important. Identifying issues that form common ground is a great place to start, for it is only from there that we can move forward together.

Above all, being civilized and polite during disagreements is going to be mandatory on this blog.

I say this as I’ve had to delete several comments without publishing them. I’ve had to communicate with some readers privately via email about their comments and ask them not to comment here anymore. (Fortunately, these comments were held for my approval and did not appear in the comments section of the blog.) And I’ve done more of this in the last two days than I’ve had to do in the last 6 years.

This blog is not a garbage dump for anger, frustration, and crazy talk. It is a Parisian cafe of animated conversation, thoughtful discussion, and intelligent debate. The vast majority of you have treated it as such during our time here, and I greatly appreciate it.

We simply have to continue that tradition going forward. So, no rants. No conspiracy theories. No name-calling. No trolling. No talking points. No repeating what you heard on cable news the night before.

What we’re going to do here is discuss, first, how we got here. A little historical context. The role of social media. The role of the media. Big tech. Small businesses. All sorts of stuff. (I have a list.)

My hope is, again, to be an oasis of informed discussion amidst all the noise. But I can’t do that alone. I need all of you to continue to take the high road.

Thanks again. Be safe and well.

  • BGT


13 thoughts on “Some Rules for Discussion

  1. It is great that you are setting the tone for these discussions. I’m not one to talk politics, have rarely found any good come from it and usually ends up with people trying to convince others they are right. At the end of the day I can only be responsible for my own actions/choices /consequences. My values align with what your site frequently shares with others. Good manners and above all respect for one another always wins out in the end regardless of political affiliation. Should be very, very interesting! 😉

  2. I only wish that our government leaders in Washington D.C. would adopt and follow your guidelines. Calm, sensible and realistic. This blog has given me, time and time again, a place to read intelligent, often witty posts and thoughtful, intelligent responses. During the past few weeks, I have had some moments of despair at what is happening in our country and have felt helpless to do anything positive. Your blog, Byron, and the interaction with your readers have given me hope that, yes, we CAN interact civilly and with intelligent discourse. These are the times that try men’s souls but I firmly believe that adhering to Old Money Standards can and will help us navigate these trying times and come out on the other side with our humanity intact. Best wishes to all here!

  3. Thank you for your level-headedness. I was a journalist in the past, and left partly because I realized, with disappointment, that I was just about the only person I knew who kept his politics private. If I may say so, it seems to me that the conspiracy-mongering of the present age would not be an issue if my own people had done our job better. The radical alternatives would never have gotten an audience. And I include myself in that, because I should have stood up to it more.

  4. As of late, I feel surrounded by those whom I can not hold a civil conversation with about the state of our nation. I am finding peace- as I believe this blog may be the beginning of new *civilized* conversation. Thank you for providing this platform and of course, for your books and wisdom over the years. It has taken an outrage and unprecedented event, such as what occurred at the capital last week, for me to bring my voice to this blog. Perhaps I will find a peaceful place to discuss my thoughts here among similar mindsets. Thank you. Byron.

  5. Several months ago, prior to the election, I asked my mother and grandmother if they could remember a time when our country was this divided. My grandmother, who is in her late 80’s said she had never seen the country as as divided and in such a tumultuous state as it is right now. That says a lot considering the nearly nine decades of events that she has lived through. I’m very glad to read that you’re going to start this discussion with some historical perspective on how we got here. That seems to be the one question that very few people want to ask. Civility when it comes to political discussions is in short supply these days so I am very much looking forward to reading the different perspectives posted here.

  6. Good plan, Byron.

    For the first 40 years of my life, I never thought deeply about politics. Now it consumes a fair amount of my time – is that what happens when you grow older – or is it the reality of life today?

  7. “how we got here”

    If only we learned from history.

    Political theorists have been worrying about mob rule for 2000 years. Plato’s “Republic” was in part a reaction to that.

    Most of us will also remember Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus” from school. Wasn’t it the Roman general’s son Martius who turned to the rebels and said: “Go, get you home, you fragments!”

  8. I, for one, am thankful for Byron’s moderating as extremism and extreme emotions have no place in civil discourse political or otherwise (as seems to be the norm rather than the exception on every other street corner of the internet). So thank you, Byron, and looking forward to potentially learning a thing or two and seeing how this develops.

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