Making room for conservatives, liberally

In this age of instant communication and information, have we become more civil? Has the quality of discourse been raised or have we mistaken "noise" for truthful discussion of issues?

We are only human. It is wishful thinking if we believe that we can rid ourselves of partialities.

We are raised by our parents, schools and societies. Surely, they would have shaped our views of the world, and our own experiences may have reaffirmed those views.

There is the tenet that if one takes the contrarian view, one is liberal. Indeed, the flower children of yesteryear bore this out when they called for peace amid a warring era.

Conservatism is shunned. It conjures an image of dead wood, resistant to change. It represses our desire for freedom. We long to throw away the shackles of the past.

It is easy to cast others as inhumane, but conservatism is also a view, albeit dialectically opposite to liberalism.

Liberalism, which preaches open-mindedness and inclusivity, should leave room for conservatism, so as to live up to its ethos. Any attempt to shout conservatives down is certainly not liberal.

It would be wise to check the facts before joining the fray on social media.

The pressure to be the "first to quote" cannot make checking the facts secondary. If this happens, then, even with the best intentions, our assertions may be hurtful, even libellous.

Freedom comes with responsibilities to ourselves and others.

Lee Teck Chuan