The art of discussion may in fact be dead but, it has been replaced by the art of shrieking.

Some say talk radio is responsible.  Others blame cable TV or social media.  Whoever or whatever brought respectful discussion to it's knees is certainly debatable.  What is clear is that we are no longer a society that talks things out.  Instead we screech, name call, insult and defame each other.  It's called scorched Earth diplomacy.  Seek and destroy.

We are no longer simply wrong on an issue.  We are Nazis or xenophobes or worse, n*****.  We call each other vile names such as Hitler and racist and misogynist.  It's never enough anymore to just simply disagree.  We must hate those who view things differently.

Hearing a black ballplayer called a n***** in Boston on Monday night was unsettling to say the least.  Mere hours later on national TV, late night host Steven Colbert unleashed a string of mean spirited and vile "jokes" at President Trump, the likes of which CBS would have found unacceptable not that long ago.  Hardly an eyebrow was raised in response.   Society would not have accepted it either but in today's polarized society it is praised by the President's opponents.

It is heartbreaking to see...and hear what passes for conversation these days.  Sure, you have a right to use the words you chose, regardless of their impact on others.  But, when did we stop caring about respect and decorum?  The words we choose come back to reflect on who we are as individuals and as a society.

The need to neutralize or destroy those with whom we disagree has paralyzed our government.  Intolerance of differing points of view is threatening our first amendment rights to free speech.  When civil discourse crumbles often times society follows.

Try to remember, just because we can say something doesn't mean we should.  The old adage "think before you speak" might go a long way towards leading us back to a more civilized society.

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