The Argument For Arguing

On Sept. 11 our new world was a small town with a huge Main Street where everyone suddenly knew everyone else, wore the same colors, felt like kin. It's hard to imagine we could have huddled comfortably in such close quarters for very long.

A country founded by rebels and settled by refugees is a happily untidy place, slow to conform, quick to adjust. Another week passes, another adjustment: first came permission to laugh again, make fun of the President, shop; now comes the license to argue again--the "music of democracy," one House member mused last week. It was almost a...

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