We had a liberal visitor …
Posted by DNW on 2014/06/19
This blog might be said to be semi-inactive, receiving only modest attention from its authors as we ruminate on subjects of peculiar interest to ourselves, rather than busying ourselves trying to feed the day-to-day social frenzy.
Not infrequently though, an outsider drops by. Surprisingly, a number of them leave off a blogging “like” icon without ever commenting.
The other day, John, of the American Liberal Times, a personal blog of his, and one which is, shall we say, intensely opinionated, stopped in to read my remarks on the AOL Huffington Post.
That post concerned their Facebook channeling of any commentary on their news articles. This action was supposedly intended to enhance civility, thoughtfulness, and community, by eliminating the option of an even thinly veiled anonymity.
The policy obviously failed in accomplishing the first two supposed aims, but succeeded in ending the use of screen names or e-mail names as commenting identities. Whether it “enhanced community” as a result of eliminating the comments of conservatives who preferred not to take the first step in making their home addresses available to politically correct activists and picketers, is probably a matter of opinion.
The Huffington Post’s action certainly does seem to have cleansed the comment section of much conservative opinion, even if it did nothing to elevate the tone or improve the quality of the comments. Whether that constitutes an improvement in “the community” is as I just stated probably a matter of opinion.
Now, John of the American Liberal Times, remarked that he agreed – sort of – with the thrust of our post. At least he agreed that it was unwise to hand out much personal information on the Internet. And he also left us a link to his own site.
So I visited him; and just in time to see him posting notice that he was turning over a new leaf himself “tonewise”, and that he had thought better of his former practice of giving free rein to invective and vitriol.
I commended him for this, and left some other remarks.
John was gracious and profuse in his thanks for my visit, and by way of leaving comments on my comments, precipitated something of an exchange.
Throughout it all John was reserved, moderate, and polite; always thanking me for my visits and contribution.
After concluding our series of exchanges, I then decided to go back and take a look at where it had all led us. And I am afraid that the results have pretty much matched past patterns of such exchanges; especially the pattern that seemed to develop in my exchanges with Perry, a significant difference being that John had not descended to the level of making personal accusations of treason, or hardheartedness, or that of libertarians’ having a genetic tendency toward Neanderthal-like behavior.
But what was virtually identical was the manner in which the exchanges “evolved”. Those who recall my observations regarding the lack of an “on point” quality in my exchanges with Perry or the Iowa Libs, and how the logic of the arguments as developed in the thread were consistently sidestepped will … well you can take a look if you are interested, and judge for yourself.
Unfortunately, it may be that we are ultimately fated to largely talk past one another.
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