President Obama delved into the abortion debate in a controversial Notre Dame commencement address Sunday, calling for a search for common ground on one of the most divisive issues in American politics.My first impression was that he certainly didn't shrink from the opportunity of talking about this topic. He could have made briefer comments about abortion and got on with the usual you-people-are-the-future-of-America speech. He didn't do that, which makes me wonder if I've been too quick to question him recently about his decisions on Afghanistan, torture and gun control.
Addressing a sharply divided audience at the storied Catholic university, Obama conceded that no matter how much Americans "may want to fudge it ... at some level the views of the two camps are irreconcilable."
"Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction," he said. "But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature."
Another thing that occurred to me was that it often seems like the liberals are the only ones talking about common ground and getting along with your adversaries. Do you think that's true? Do conservatives have a problem with this kind of thing?
"As citizens of a vibrant and varied democracy, how do we engage in vigorous debate?" he asked. "How does each of us remain firm in our principles, and fight for what we consider right, without demonizing those with just as strongly held convictions on the other side?"
What's your opinion? Do you think such suggestions as not "demonizing" the other side and not turning the opponent's "views to caricature," might be useful in the gun control debates? Do you think it was a bit courageous of the president to tackle this issue so directly?
Please leave a comment.