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Truth is Powerful

How Giving Up Ableist Insults Can Help Heal Our Politics

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The long struggle to unlearn ableism may have an unexpected side benefit. It could help us make today’s politics and public discourse a little less toxic.

American politics were never as friendly as we like to think they once were. But they have felt particularly nasty for quite a few years now – that’s not just our imaginations. Most of us have a vaguely-defined but strong and understandable desire to “go back” to a kinder, less tense and corrosive dialog with our neighbors and fellow citizens – in person, on social media, and especially in politics .

How do we achieve civility when real issues divide us ? Our conflicts are more than just rudeness and pointless rivalry, although we have more than enough of those, too. Real grievances need airing, and real injustices cry out for accountability.

Does civility mean compromising on our own or other people’s humanity and worth? Should human rights be open to debate? Is bipartisan harmony really better, if we simply agree on who will remain oppressed and precisely how much? When the stakes of political argument are real and life-altering, harmony and bipartisanship for their own sakes seem a little less important .

Still, […]

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