This brief essay pertains to the Great Language War of the 21st Century, on whose many landscapes the future existence of Western Civilization is literally taking place. This writer appreciates the value of the reader’s time and attention, so the points raised here will endeavor to be concise, candid, and relevant to the matters at hand. The immediate focus is on the rules of engagement.
Words are assigned distinct meanings, and when used in a specific arraignment can either enhance or muddle the larger case put forth by its proponent in conversation with other parties, like minded or otherwise. Indeed, a conversation can only take place when two or more parties actively engage each other; monologues, sermons, speeches, and the like are what they are, but they are not conversations.
History, as the old saw says, is inevitably written by the victors. A shared perception and acknowledgment of it is very useful when conversations turn to that of a political nature. If the intended end state of such dialogue is consensual compromise (mutual understanding thus becoming a natural by-product), the process is well served by the establishment of a foundation in which definitions are agreed upon by all parties involved.
In a similar vein, cultural literacy is also critical on the part of all participants, as so to keep any and all analogies, contrast, and comparisons to a level that truly keeps things in proportion to the matters being discussed. Hyperbole and understatement, when utilized poorly, too frequently, or dishonestly diminishes their intended impact and makes resolution that much harder to arrive in a timely manner.
Also well served is the willing desire to assign some level of respect to all participants of the conversation involved. Respect, in this case, being defined as the right for the other party or parties to participate in the first place, and to have their case articulated to a degree or level in which understanding is a certainty, and mutual agreement is always a possibility.
Finally, an acknowledgment must be made by all concerned that everyone around the table of conversation is human. That commonality of humanity must never be forgotten, along with its characteristics. The sooner the participants remember the baseline default settings, the better.
When dialogue is no longer possible, and the polar positions are so entrenched as to be immovable, this is usually the point when wars happen. Within our democratic republic, the ballot box is where things are settled. Beyond our shores, on those locations where the peaceful means of resolution do not exist, such things tend to be resolved through brute force in sufficient numbers.
In an effort to retain a tone of civility and consistency, this writer offer these words in the hopes of giving visitors a clear background from which all discussion past, present, and future that originate from this corner sprang from.