“No single template to condemn, punish, prevent and understand terrorism at the same time…”

Just putting this from Rafael Behr here

Just as there is no one model that explains the terrorist’s motive, there is no single template that enables a society to condemn, punish, prevent and understand terrorism all at the same time.

There is no elegant solution to the paradoxes of tolerant societies harbouring enemies of tolerance, and the defence of freedom sometimes demanding illiberal measures. It is because no one person can get it right that we have rival parties in politics lobbying for different positions, placing the emphasis different ways.

We put our faith not in a specific leader to give us the answers but in the democratic process to muddle its way to a compromise.

Our politicians might not always behave in ways that dignify and enrich that system, but at times of national trauma and emergency they tend to step up. They have done so this week with displays of composure and compassion across party lines.

The challenge is to retain that civility in a resumed election campaign. It is right that there was a pause for reflection and unity. But it is also vital that the competition between different ideas is pursued with unbowed vigour. Unity does not mean unanimity.

We can unite around the idea of managing our divisions civilly, peacefully. Politics must not be treated as a distraction from the defence against terrorism. It is our defence against terrorism.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty