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Opinions of Saturday, 7 April 2018

Columnist: Arthur Kennedy

The language of our discourse

The discussion of the US military agreement has brought home, once again how coarse the language of our public discourse is.

It is said that patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.
In this debate, people's patriotism has been questioned on all sides. The President has been attacked with language disrespectful of his office and he has used language inappropriate for his high office.

It is possible for a nationalistic, patriotic government to negotiate a bad deal. It is also possible for sincere patriots to question a deal that the patriotic government believes is in the national interest.

Patriotic Americans were on both sides of the American civil war. There were patriotic Chinese with both Mao and Chiang in 1949.

We should stop calling people who disagree with us traitors.

And we should stop deriding the poor origins of people because we do not like their opinions.

While facts are sacred, opinions ought to be respected.

Spectators accept whatever their government does; citizens dissent sometimes.

You cannot call someone a traitor during the week and attend his or his family's funeral on the weekend.

Let us streamline our treaty-making process, consult more and stop the name-calling.

God bless Ghana.

Arthur K