“I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters—but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead.”
Mr. Frum was writing in 2010, though the insight about “the harm of overheated talk” is always timely.
He also noted the very personal, ego-centric agendas of those stirring up the frenzy by way of purposely inflammatory ‘talk’, and that this created an environment that “trapped” those leaders who otherwise preferred collaboration and compromise yet were pulled along in the toxic current that ran counter to their own wisdom and better judgment.
In a ‘fiery’ climate, we see and hear a lot of ‘inflammatory’ and ‘overheated’ talk; it’s helpful to be aware of the toxic tactics that seek to provoke, inflame, and stir frenzy (which tends to decrease the capacity for thoughtfulness, consideration, empathy, personal agency, constructive response, etc.).
What’s more, there’s growing research about the ill-effects of the constant barrage of Narci-Bully spewing and manipulations on those regularly immersed in it. (More on that in an upcoming post.)
Those standing for and exemplifying the ‘remedy’ or antidote of gracious and graceful communication often have a higher good in mind than their own personal ego-gratification, and are inclined and able to listen, ask questions (inquiry), identify shared interests, and find resolutions that benefit many.
If it calls to you, have a look at the full articles (both linked above) for the rest of that conversation.