In their Jan. 18 letter describing the newly formed Princeton Progressive Action Committee, Jason Gold ’81, Alison Holtzschue ’82, Tom Burka ’81, and John Oakes ’83 “invite all like-minded members of the Princeton community to join our conversation.” How can you have a conversation among like-minded people? A one-sided communication or a rally, perhaps, but not a conversation. Conversation happens among different-minded people holding diverse, even conflicting views. The discussion, as a result, is spirited, free-wheeling, and open-ended.
In contrast, discussions among like-minded people tend to be scripted, close-ended affairs, where the conclusions already have been reached, and where labels are used to box people (progressives vs. regressives?), and exclude those not holding the same views. Such like-minded communication is the bane of our politics right now. Conversation would be a nice change.