Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thought of the Day: Being Judgmental vs. Good Judgment


The exercise of good judgement has become much rarer than being judgmental in our political culture, afflicted as it is with anti-intellectualism, a sound-bite news cycle, and a virulent conservatism that cannot win on its record or on the merits of its arguments.  By “being judgmental” I mean condemning and dismissing the ideas and people felt to be “other” in angry, fearful, simplistic terms.  It is an impulsive use of thought.  By “good judgment” I mean giving unfamiliar proposals a fair hearing, carefully weighing and balancing options, putting ideas into historical context, taking the long view, and looking to the good of the whole when making decisions.  It is a deliberative use of thought.  The former is now more valued and rewarded than the latter, and yes, the right is more guilty of it than the left. Restore the primacy of good judgment is necessary to quell our inflamed factionalism and restore good governance. 

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