Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Should We Ignore The Crazies?

My objection was that if we—as consumers and producers and purveyors of news—decide that we will simply ignore the existence and arguments of every pundit, candidate, or religious dissenter to whom we object, it doesn’t in fact make them go away. It simply takes us out of the conversation.
To be sure, it’s not even fair to compare Coulter, Davis, and Trump. The first can rather easily be dismissed, and her racist followers are probably not going to change their minds. The second is a proxy for an important constitutional debate, and the latter is a front-runner for the GOP nomination. But the larger principle threading through all of this “ignore them” admonishment really worries me: that in a moment when capturing the news cycle is enough to make you a prominent national figure, the corrective is to shut off the news cycle, rather than engage in the debate.

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