hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Wednesday, June 05, 2002
the partisan outlook: when confronted with an unpleasant fact, argument, or assertion glide past it, and present the other side with an unpleasant argument, fact, or assertion. Pile up a long list of grievances/proofs of the other sides wrongness, and remain wilfully ignorant of the pile of evidence the other side is accumulating. Then, when you are challenged on any one argument, you can wave it away in good conscience. All right, the opposition may have scored one minor point, a few branches on a tree, but is there any doubt about who the forest belongs too?

you can have a civil conversation when you are debating about parameters and not principles. When your core principles are different, then there may not be much point arguing, and after a certain point it may even be counter-productive.