If you buy into the idea of democracy as a way to bring individuals and groups of differing goals and agendas together into a dialogue with the goal of seeking and forging a common pathway, than using these techniques to devalue "the other"... is a clear path to make their choices unacceptable and that common pathway unachieveable. It undermines the idea of democracy as a unifiying mechanism and turns the idea of majority rule into just another way to eliminate dissent and choice
I wonder about the underlying trajectory of some connecting links.....politics has always been about power and violence, verbal or otherwise, has always been an intregal part of that environment. But given the changing nature of our media a...ccessibility and the increasing role in both dialogue and action of "money as speech", the increasing complexity of our social environment (the broadest definition), that this seriously emphasizes the role that critical thinking plays in making choices. Then relate that to the changing educational environment for children which increasingly emphasizes "teaching to the test" to achieve statistical dominance as opposed to educating "how to think" processes and information as the fuel for that thinking. Are these two differing trends creating an environment where "money as speech" effectively replaces democracy, and the tools it uses, as arbitraters of our choices ?