Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Need for a Real Discussion

I love Sunday Morning. I make a Double Shot Cafe Mocha and browse the blogosphere. Often I am so busy during the week I cannot get to read the comments and observations of those I've grown to appreciate and respect. There are several million bloggers out there and I only follow about twenty with any regularity.

Of course many are in areas like sports, cooking, theater or gardening where I have less personal interest. I try to follow a few areas of great interest including world affairs and politics.

Ahhhhh, politics. Your mother often told you never to discuss religion and politics. You only make enemies, start fights, end friendships. It's still true today. How many of you discuss politics with passion here in the blogosphere, but remain totally silent at work or with friends?

The blogosphere is quite a good outlet. You're not face to face. If you are angry or hurt you don't need to face your adversary over dinner or a round of golf. Many of us are or have been anonymous. Only in the last six months did I add my actual name to this blog, following the lead of Bruce Carroll Jr. and B. Daniel Blatt over at
The Gay Patriot.

Still as I read this morning I am struck with the high tension and the relative lack of dialog between not just the left and the right, but between even factions within each group. Wars tend to do that sort of thing and the occupation of Iraq has become especially polarizing.

As I read
The Daily Kos and The Huffington Post and Michelle Malkin this morning along with some other, more personal blogs, I was awestruck by the way bloggers simply dismiss out-of-hand anyone who disagrees with their sensible and personal position on this issues.

If you disagree with me you are "brainwashed," a "stooge or lackey," a "traitor" or and "idiot."

Ted Rall the brilliant editorial cartoonist over at Universal Press Syndicate wrote this parody on October 22nd:
"In 2007, Americans were dumber than dirt. Over time, however, the endless war in Iraq began to play a role in natural selection. Only idiots signed up; only idiots died. Back home, the average IQ soared."

Please link on over to Rall's Website HERE and read the cartoon to get the joke and the point.

Curiously most conservatives completely missed Rall's point and attacked the cartoonist. The state of American dialog today gives Rall and others fertile ground to plow.

But it's not just conservatives that miss the point. There is huge outrage in many of the "Progressive" blogs is directed at anyone who disagrees with the immediate pull-out from Iraq regardless of the consequences.

The increasingly normal reaction of both Conservatives and Progressives is to dismiss those who dare to disagree with them. A little name calling here and condescending comments there in place of an honest assessment of the views of others.

It's obviously just me, but I find great value and wisdom in the thinking of both camps. Neither side is a nutjob. These are HONEST PEOPLE with HONEST OPINIONS.

Clearly today (right or wrong) the country is no longer in the mood for a quick end to the Iraq occupation. They're just not ready to depart from that stage for a variety of reasons.

This doesn't mean that conservatives were right or that liberals are loony. It simply means this is a complex, multi-faceted issue.

The FACT that BUSH waged a stupid, poorly planned, sloppily executed and possibly illegal invasion doesn't mean we must make an equally stupid, poorly planned and sloppily executed exit.

I'm not asking for some sort of global bloggy kumbaya moment. Honest disagreement is valuable.

But dismissing other's opinions without ever actually reading them or considering them eliminates any chance for growth, understanding or progress.

1 comment:

Vigilante said...

A commendable essay, Wizard. Let me venture a couple of points.

I'm glad you expose yourself to Ted Rall. I'm not sure his gift is being artistically delightful or politically insightful, but he is daring and provocative.

Secondly, Bush's "stupid, poorly planned, sloppily executed and possibly illegal invasion" of Iraq certainly presents our country with "complex, multi-faceted issue(s)", but these range beyond that of our exit from Iraq.

I'll attempt to address this subject in the coming week. In the meantime, speaking for your more reticent readership, we all thank you for this stimulus!