Conversation (noun): an interchange of thoughts, information, etc., by
spoken words; oral communication between persons.
Conversation, by its definition, requires more than one individual and the interchange of information.
From this definition we purport that conversation, especially political
conversation, is largely non-existent on college campuses and beyond. The basis for our position is that there is
no interchange of thought between people.
We argue that feelings are not thoughts; and an interchange requires an
exchange of thought.
For example, a baby cries when she is in discomfort, it is a one way
exchange of a feeling but not a conversation.
This is the situation we see as students shout demands about their
feelings of discomfort, a la, safe zones against macroaggression or how to
dress for Halloween. For these students,
feelings substitutes for fact, discourse and conclusion. Their feeling is absolute and is the end of
conversation, not the beginning. Thus,
there has been a death of conversation in that only one person shouting or
making a demand on another is necessary.
But good society requires good discourse; without discourse what good is
society? Good discourse begins with
critical thinking, identifying sources of fact then agreeing on a set of
facts. With a set of common facts, good
discourse can critically explore good policy – and the perspectives on what
makes good policy can differ greatly.
But it is the differences, when honestly debated, which can produce
exceptional results. Case and point, the
Constitution of the United States!
Let us resurrect conversation, and in turn, be vigilant and be free.