Incivility and health care reform

I know Austin already touched on this, but I want to add my two cents. Mostly, it’s to roll my eyes.

First of all, Avik Roy is a big boy. He has, I’m sure, a great job. He is an influential conservative voice on health policy. He writes for national publications and appears on national television programs. There’s no way this last week has been anything but awesome for his career. So there is simply no need – none – for anyone to write another word “defending” him. Mostly, that’s because anyone spending time on that is not spending time writing about things that actually matter in the world. Like health policy.

Moreover, too often, that’s how people avoid actual issues. They get all “offended”, and that becomes the story, instead of what we really need to discuss. There are actual differences of opinion here, and different values that inform reform.

I can’t believe how many pieces I’ve read in the last week that focus on Avik, what someone said about Avik, what someone else said defending Avik, or how it’s become impossible for us to have a real debate. Please. Real discussions occur every day, right here on this blog as well as many others.Sure, they don’t seem to occur on TV or in many other blogs. But that’s because the incivility sells. It gets eyeballs and clickthroughs. Many, many people go and read it, and then talk about it, and make that the focus.

It also allows some to avoid the debate they’d rather not have, no matter how much they profess to desire it.

Just stop. Take a deep breath. Ignore the incivil people if that’s not your cup of tea and engage the argument. Don’t look for something to get the vapors over. Be the debate you want to see. Promote it when you see it. Then, maybe, things will change.


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