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Weaponized Words

The amount of negativity we observe and consume on a daily basis threatens to undermine the quality of civic life, writes the author.

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idea_bulbLately, I’ve become aware of an increase in the amount of kvetching that surrounds me. Whether online, in private conversation, or in public discourse, people seem eager to express their discontent with one thing or another. Rarely do I hear folks expressing an equal measure of praise or satisfaction for the bounty of people, places, or things that they encounter in their daily lives.

I’m sure you hear the cacophony, too: The weather. Stalled traffic. No Wi-Fi here or there. Taxes. Politicians—Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Tea Party members—pick one or all. Immigrants. Old people. Young folks. Minorities. White people. Dare to mention any of these in friendly conversation and I’ll wager a Happy Meal that someone within earshot will pipe up with an angry analysis, typically in more colorful language than it is appropriate to share here.

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