Conversations with an ardent Liberal … another failed experiment
As was apparent from my earlier “We had a liberal visitor” post, I had recently engaged in the project of continuing an exchange with a self-identified liberal blogger named John, who had visited this site and commented on my post concerning the AOL/Huffington Post news comment policy: Now, it’s “Facebook Conversations”
For those who might have missed it, Huffington Post material, unlike strictly AOL articles, of which there are apparently still some, invites comment only through “Facebook conversations”. In other words if you comment on a news article you will be doing so through your Facebook identity. Assuming you have one.
John basically agreed with my take on the issue and said so. Since he made sure to leave a link to his own blog in his response, I then reciprocated his visit here with one of my own to his site American Liberal Times.
John the Liberal’s site was and is a curious mix of material and attitudes. And to be fair, John the Liberal makes no bones about the fact that it is: stating outright that it is a blog about his opinions and views and that he doesn’t intend to be forced into the position of justifying or defending the logic and reasonableness of his views.
“TERMS OF SERVICE
Some people who stop here and read stuff might get offended at my rather strong and direct tone.
If you get offended by something you read here then I am sorry and I suggest that if you are going to get offended at the way I write my blog then you have the option to immediately leave this blog – read no further and go somewhere else to read. It is that simple. If you don’t like my “Program” then just turn the dial and find something else somewhere else on the Internet that you do like better. No big deal is it?
The second point I would like to make is that I do not ordinarily allow Radical Right Wingers or those who I have come to think of as “Obama Haters” or haters of Democrats, Liberals and Progressives to leave any comments on this site. (I do make some exceptions at my discretion however.) There are plenty of Right Wing Radical Hate-Mongering blogs on the Internet and if that is your thing then I suggest you find one of those to visit or to haunt or to hang out at because your propaganda and your attitudes are not always welcome on “AMERICAN LIBERAL TIMES”
“AMERICAN LIBERAL TIMES” is my blog and I post whatever I want to post on it and I allow whoever I want to allow to post comments on it and I prohibit anyone from posting or commenting when I don’t like what they have to say and that is my privilege as a blogger and because of the great number of Rightist Numwads and Mindless Ninkos who try to troll me on this blog I rarely – – if ever – – accept any comment from any right wing source anymore. Too bad!
To the rest of you – – – to anyone who thinks anywhere near the same way as I do – – WELCOME! … “
Nonetheless, on June 18th he certainly appeared to make a stab at embracing reasonableness when he volunteered that he was considering tempering the vehemence and vitriol with which his postings were typically imbued.
“Courtesy, Respect And Good Taste Never Go Out Of Style!
… I am fully convinced that it is perfectly reasonable and achievable to arrive at the point where we can inform the world we believe a certain politician might not be acting in the best interests of his constituents without resorting to such crudities as “Chief Fraud” or other such juvenile crud-encrusted delicacies of the vernacular.
One favor I would ask of my readers: If you see me engaging in any conversation that seems to you like it might qualify as “Bad Taste” please leave me a comment and alert me to my digression . . . regression. I definitely want to elevate “American Liberal Times” above the level of decency employed by a great number of what I call “Right Wing Hater Blogs.”
I cannot do it alone and that is why I ask my Readers to participate in the process of adding a little more panache to this blog.”
I even congratulated John on this, and figured that with that as a predicate, I might venture on a short-term experiment in order to see just what potential there might be for an actual dialog with a partisan liberal; notwithstanding John’s forthrightness in stating upfront that he was, in essence, interested in no such thing.
A conclusion which was, I must admit, inescapably reinforced by posts such as this:
More Changes To The Blog But I Do Not Know If They Will Last:
First of all let me say that I have no idea of whether or not a blog can be crawled by the “Crawlers” without each post being preceded by a formal “Headline.” But I would say that I am about to find out. I have seen other blogs with high readership that do not make use of headlines and so I am trying it myself – – for the time being.
Secondly: I have spent considerable time today going back through the posts on this blog and deleting forever almost all comments left on here by Right Wingers over the years. …”
Now, a man determined to go back years in order to purge any trace of “right-wing” commentary from his blog is not likely to be a man reasoned with easily.
But, John seemed so inordinately grateful for the comments I left,
First of all let me say that I sincerely appreciate your visit today and I am grateful you took your time to comment.”
Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful comment.
… that I wondered if he could not somehow, and against his natural inclinations, be finessed into an intelligent conversation. After all, what’s a month more? I have already spent years trying to do so with other political progressives. That is, to discover if – contrary to all appearances – there really is not something like a right reasoning mind behind the modern liberal face; a faculty which could be carefully teased out of the appetitive confusion behind the eyes … some residual capacity, some sputtering wisp of a reasoning soul which could be carefully fanned to life.
Now this would necessarily not be easy. Not only because John had stated that he was not particularly interested in reasoning, but in addition because he posted at such a frantic pace. For example, he placed up what I count as eight posts on July 1st, alone. Perhaps then, comments like these, made in response to my own, should have proved enough.
” … My interpreting principles change like the myriad colors of a Texas sunset because all of Creation is always in a state of flux ( evolving . . always evolving . .) and even in our social order that which was acceptable ages and ages ago ( The stoning of disobedience to death in public spectacles of death ) has now moved forward ( Progressed ) to where public stoning has become abhorrent to most people and some less severe measure has been compromised upon.
I do not care to justify moral preferences or claims because my own moral preference and claims don’t amount to anything of much significance in such a vast and diverse society as ours and in times when generational and demographic changes are on the cusp of making cataclysmic changes in many of our generally accepted perceptions of many things at many levels. I simply present what I think ( at the moment I think it ) knowing full well that it might all change dramatically as new impressions are received inside of myself either by inspiration or by being impressed from influences without. Why be a hypocrite about it?”
… and then there were discouraging things like this:
John, in the original posting:
“I have discovered over the years that (A) It is totally impossible to have a reasonable conversation with most radical Righties, …”
Me, in response:
” …What do you mean by “a reasonable” conversation? Are you referring to some lack of ability in the area of logical analysis? A specific lack of historical knowledge? Certainly you cannot be referring to a reluctance to “respond on point”, since you quite clearly stated that you would not be held to any such a standard yourself …”
John, in reply:
” … And what is my notion of a reasonable conversation? I have no concrete notions of a reasonable conversation because for one thing this blog is not intended to be a conversation or a debate . . it is an “Opinion” blog . . my opinions . . . but maybe a more reasonable “Conversation” in this instance might be condensed as “Thank you for your comments. I always appreciate receiving your comments.” (Evasive enough is it?) 🙂”
And so it continued to inexorably and predictably play out. He would not respond on point because it was an opinion blog, and was his, and he would say whatever he wanted. And while he accused conservatives of making a reasonable exchange impossible, as we see above, he would not, or could not, say what it was he considered as reasonable.
In some ways he was remarkably like our old friend Perry Hood. Grown up poor. Grateful to the government for lifting him out of poverty; now of a certain age – 76 today apparently; prone to quoting Christian scriptures for rhetorical purposes while making a certain contempt for Christianity itself quite clear; and, oh yes, like Perry, a one time ardent Pentecostal or Evangelical who now finds the appeal of government love and state organized wealth redistribution more emotionally powerful than a love of God and a commitment to personal charity.
In the new Religion of Progressivism, it is the “rightwads” the “teabaggers” who are conspiring to storm the heaven known as Washington, D.C., and tear down our great country and all the wonderful things which divine liberalism has bestowed upon a yearning humanity. Replacing the devil he once believed to be the source of evil in the world, now stand those evil conservatives and their imagined conspiracies. And don’t try to reason him out of that view. It’s his blog and he feels the way he feels and that is all there is to it. Nothing to discuss, period.
Well, the ending was obviously foreordained.
Seeing that a month of reasoning effort was going just as far as years did with Perry Hood, which is to say absolutely nowhere substantively, I figured I might as well speak directly and let the chips fall where they may. The proximate occasion was John’s post entitled :
I Haven’t Got My Obamacare-Mandated RFID Chip Implant Yet!
Posted on July 8, 2014
DAMN! WHAT’S THE BIG HOLD UP?
He continued in the following manner …
“The Right Wing scum were screaming, yammering, bitching, moaning, crying and howling that every American Citizen was going to be forced to have some kind of microchip implanted under their skin by the year 2013. This mandatory microchip called an RFID chip ( Radio Frequency Identification Chip) is something the Right-Tighters were insisting was absolutely required by The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act ( Obamacare ) and that no American Citizen would be immune from having their government force them to have this device implanted in their skin.
Well the bastards must have either been wrong about the requirement for the implant or the government simply has not yet gotten around to implanting me with my Obamacare-Mandated RFID Chip yet and here it is 2014 ….
Could it be that the Rightscum got this one wrong? …
My desire is that when the Rightwads get their mandatory RFID chip compliments of Obamacare ( As they have been claiming ) they get it up the rear end! To know that little tidbit of knowledge would be intensely pleasing to me as a left of center moderate liberal.”
This of course from the man who said : “If you see me engaging in any conversation that seems to you like it might qualify as “Bad Taste” please leave me a comment and alert me to my digression . . . regression. I definitely want to elevate “American Liberal Times” above the level of decency employed by a great number of what I call “Right Wing Hater Blogs …”
Yes well, given that, the following exchange ensued.
Me to John:
DNW on July 8, 2014 at 12:29 PM said:
To which I replied:
In other words you dredged up a 4 year old article on an anonymous viral e-mail, not because anyone with a public profile was saying such things, nor because anyone at all was now saying such things, but because you wanted to stir the tar pot and apply the brush, just “… in case somebody who should know better is thinking of believing any of their crap.”
” My job is to expose the lies, deceit and treacheries of the radical right wing wherever I can find them and that is the mission of this blog and that is what I do. The radical right is a cancer eating at all that is decent and good about America and it is on a straightline agenda to destroy the country …”