What do we owe our adversaries in the battle of ideas?
We spend a lot of time thinking and talking about what is disqualifying in the discourse or debate of others—determining what is ugly, rude, bigoted, facile, sneering, hypocritical, etc.
We’re all cancel culture commissars when it comes to our own little dachas. I know I am always ready to lay claim to a valid reason why I should not have to listen to this particular twaddle or respond to that obvious canard. Sloth is my shield against engagement with obvious rottenness. Who has the time or energy?
As we know too well, millions of Americans make time for it. And the more rotten, the better. My colleague David French coined the term “nutpicking” for the negative version of cherry picking in which the nuttiest nut from a political or cultural group is picked out by one of its adversaries to say that this is how allll Republicans, or Democrats, or Methodists, or people who make pie crust with vegetable shortening are.