[Note: This entry is the first of several planned for this week from liberal, progressive, Democratic, etc. members of the Wizbang comment community and readership in response to a call for entries last week. The reasoning behind the experiment is explained in the call of entries posts. Posts titles will be proceeded with the text, “Wizbang Blue:” to highlight that they are not posts from Wizbang authors.
I am one of those “liberals” who likes to read and respond to some of the posts on this site. On occasion, I have been known to be sarcastic and caustic in response to some of the threads and posts. On other occasions I have attempted to engage in debate about issues. And on others, I have succumbed to the temptation to respond to some of the more, shall we say, bombastic folks from the right. But since just before the election I’ve spent as much time reading threads and posts, but less in response. I’ve been thinking about what it is that causes both sides to be, frequently, sarcastic and guttural in response to one another.
I know that I’m seen as a liberal. But the truth is I’m not the classic liberal as I think some here would frame it. For example, I am socially liberal, fiscally conservative, an ardent believer in the rights granted us by our constitution and towards the middle in national security matters. I believe whole-heartedly that the world is threatened by terrorism. I believe the war in Afghanistan was right and that the war in Iraq was wrong from the start and that the occupation (for want of a better description) has been horribly mismanaged. Yet, I believe in a strong military and support a call to increase its size.
I hate it when we engage in name calling (we includes me) rather than serious debate. I think blogging does not reflect the majority of the country in attitude, response and belief(s). I live in Iowa, Middle America; it’s a wonderful place to live; a wonderful place to raise children. It’s a state that isn’t very diverse ethnically but is diverse politically. Most people I know here do not call one another names, as we who post on this site frequently do, when discussing politics. We now have a democratic governor and legislature but I don’t sense any “liberal” agenda on the part of either. People here are profoundly and genuinely disturbed by the war in Iraq. This war and its effects have seriously taxed our National Guard.
It seems to me that those who post responses on this site and others (liberal and conservative) tend to over simplify very complex issues. It appears that it is almost always black and white, right or wrong, terrorist sympathizer or mindless follower of Mr. Bush. I don’t think it’s that simple. Folks here in Iowa don’t see issues as simple problems. They don’t see things as black and white, right or wrong. The country belongs to the people of Iowa, just as it belongs to the people of every other state. I wonder why those of us with such strong views can’t be more like it is here in Iowa: reflective, polite in disagreement, but always neighborly?
Our country is a very resilient one, having survived calamitous wars, terrible episodes of discrimination, many natural disasters and periods of unbridled corruption in government. Power has shifted continuously throughout our history. I think one of the errors of the left and the right is that we believe so strongly in our positions that we lose sight of most of the country. We lose sight of the folks like those who live here in Iowa who really want us to be somewhere in the middle.
I’m making a New Years resolution. I will only engage in debate from now on. I will not call any one name(s), nor will I be sarcastic or caustic. I will defend my beliefs always. I will not respond to those, on either side, who want to hurl invectives at one another. Now I hope I am not naïve about this. Perhaps I am. But in the time I’ve spent mostly reading on this site and others I see lots of folks on both sides who really care about the future. Our country is a very resilient one, having survived calamitous wars, terrible episodes of discrimination, many natural disasters and unbridled corruption in government. Power has shifted continuously throughout our history.