It’s okay to be either liberal or conservative. Individuals have the freedom of choice of ideology they want to align themselves with (they also have the right to remain non-partisan). However, an intolerance of diversity of opinion has arisen within many.

If you're capable of critical thinking, you'll know that these labels often don't stand true to their dictionary definitions.

Both terms have come to signify completely disparate ideologies. Conservatives aren’t all about traditional values and aversion to change just as liberals aren’t all about liberal views. There is, however, palpable tension between the two – especially amongst the youth.

A lack of respect for varying ideologies is at the root of the cause, as well as a few fallacies – logical errors – in critical thinking. Infantilized by: lack of exposure to disparate ideologies, intellectual echo chambers, and filter bubbles, individuals have now begun to develop an aversion to ideas dissimilar to their own. Claims of being psychologically triggered by mere opposing viewpoints have arisen, once again limiting exposure to opposing or differing perspectives.

Truth is, it doesn’t matter which one you are.

What matters is your ability to respect another’s viewpoint enough – even if it differs from yours – to engage in critical discourse with them.

Conservatives and liberals engaging in intellectual open discourse will result in few of several things:

  1. Will enable a more objective understanding of an issue.
  2. All facets of an issue can be considered.
  3. Both minority and majority viewpoints are broached.
  4. Develops critical thinking abilities.
  5. Helps locate flaws in logic.
  6. Develops openmindedness.
  7. Develops patience.

In short: the individual undergoes character building and strengthens their argument and critical thinking skills. Don’t assume an argument is wrong based on the merit of the individual who states it: here’s the Ad Hominem fallacy at work. Listen to each other. Free and intellectual discourse is productive – it provides practical results. Prevention of such is in fact antithetical to democracy, pluralism, and free academia.

Your ego may be in the way of critical thinking – which provides actual results.

Studying disparate ideas upon ideas – going through all possibilities – is what leads to a breakthrough conclusion – this does not occur by simply sticking to one thought strain. Both liberals and conservatives, put aside your emotions and deal with the facts. That’s the key to economic progress.

Image sourced from ActonInstitute Power Blog

Published by Cat Regrets