William Drenttel posted his support for a Gore ticket at Design Observer today. I like Al Gore. I think he’d make a great president. I agree with William on all counts, but I was dismayed to see his post.
If the Bush presidency has done one good thing, it was to light a fire in the hearts of Americans. We were prosperous and apathetic before. Now we’re prosperous and passionate. We were asleep. Now we’re awake. Many of us are angry. It’s about time.
Still, I’m not sure the kind of firestorm the Design Observer post touched off (surely they knew it would come) has a place there. Politics is a taboo topic in certain environments (the workplace) for good reason.
We are aware that people disagree with our views, yet we persist in the fool’s errand that we can change people’s minds. Surely, one fantasizes, if I make a reasonable argument, then all reasonable people will be powerless against it.
But it never works that way. People interpret evidence differently. They dismiss the authorities and institutions we stand on. Shouting ensues. We end up resenting them for their intransigence. They resent us for our sanctimony.
Online, there is much less civility as the argument goes back and forth and sometimes wildly astray.
The polarity in this country right now is frightening. I don’t like seeing it here.
I understand where William is coming from, but I like Design Observer better when it provides respite from the kind of noise that has become almost unavoidable everywhere else.