One of the things I have noticed since I started blogging many years ago was the unwillingness of many people to actually have honest discourse. One of the most interesting aspects of this is the frequent hyperbole that is employed and the genuine (and almost heartfelt) disrespect that is shown to one another. The speed at which posters resort to name calling is amazing.
I have been on conservative blogs and liberal blogs and I would like to share with you what I have learned. There is an orthodoxy of ideology that is required on many blogs. In fact I can't tell you how often I have been banned or threatened to be banned for doing nothing more than simply voicing an opposing opinion. The discussions (and I use that term generously) devolve into name calling and then the obligatory "I feel sorry for you" comments. It is shocking that a discussion cannot continue between Americans of good will without devolving into such ridiculous attacks.
I share this not as someone on the left or someone on the right but as someone who is very much like you. I believe that those that I disagree with are as American as I am. I believe that they have a genuine desire to make the country better. Unfortunately our political discourse is so extreme that we often lose sight of that. It pains me to see that we can't have a reasoned discussion and sometimes be willing to agree that there are downsides to our particular opinions and to our specific points of view. Because of that I encourage you to participate on blogs that allow all opinions no matter how ridiculous. The insane ideas will be shown for what they are.
If you currently post to a specific site (other than this one) think about this concept. How does the site handle diverging opinion? Are differences of opinion tolerated or are the "trolls" banned. If you belong to a site that does not tolerate dissent perhaps that is a reflection of the weaknesses of the blog author or of the opinion of the author. Agreement should not be a requirement of any blog because without dissent we never get the chance to hone our viewpoints or, heaven forbid, see a new idea and accept it.
I am grateful for those of you who have joined me on this particular ride. It is my hope that the next time I have a disagreement with someone on line that I will voice my opinion with respect and with the idea that the person I disagree with genuinely has a reason for feeling the way that they do. I also hope that I will consider that my own position may have flaws and that I should be confident enough to admit the flaws and be willing to be persuaded. Emotional attachments to ideological beliefs don't lend themselves well to open discourse. Maybe we should consider this in each of our debates.
In the end I realize this is nothing more than a blip in your life if even that. Maybe it is nothing at all to you. If I did anything I hope that I gave you the chance to consider some strange ideas and to realize that you know a great deal more than maybe even you realized you knew. America is a great country and I believe that institutionalized racism has been eradicated. Sure, racism is out there but I think that most of society regards modern day racists as people who likely have damaged chromosomes or were dropped on their heads as children. I say this about white and black racists both for it is clear that there are many racists on both sides of the issue.
To answer the remaining questions - is Timbob actually Professor Red? Is Professor Red actually Fayed X. Is Timbob all three? Are each of them different people? Does it matter? I wish you the best and hope that you will give these words some thought - or as Fayed X might say "Think about it!"
Open thread for night owls: 1,000 children
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