By Cady Stanton – Contributor
When this site first launched, I looked forward to contributing to it. That was only natural, given that I like to write and I enjoy political discourse. And I liked what the site promised: a place where reasonable disagreement could take place and, more importantly, where ordinary people of different political stripes could find common ground.
I put a good deal of effort into the posts that I did contribute. Because I loathe the name-calling, emotion-laden discourse that passes for politics in the mainstream media, I tried to be thoughtful in what I wrote, to craft informed opinions based on what facts are available to me and to appeal to reason rather than reaction. I assumed that people, if they so chose, would respond in like fashion, stating reasoned, fact-based points of disagreement, thus encouraging the dialogue that was envisioned with this site’s founding.
Alas, my assumptions were wrong and my goal was misguided. With a handful of exceptions, such as the post on “Atlas Shrugged” and a response to my comments thereto, I’ve witnessed here the same willingly ill-informed politics that exists everywhere else. What I’ve read here evidenced, to my great disappointment, that people don’t want substantive dialogue and debate; they simply want to spout opinions that make them feel good without any regard for facts, reality or the ignorance they choose to display.
To cite just one example, there was a comment about the so-called health care reform bill in which the commenter described the current administration and Democrats in Congress as “this bunch of Marxists”. Even the most casual understanding of Karl Marx reveals the ignorance of the comment. Whether crying or laughing, Marx, who advocated public ownership of property, would surely be spinning in his grave over the idea that a law that pushes some 30,000,000 people into the private insurance market is somehow attributable to his and Engels’ communist ideals.
There are plenty of other examples, not worth detailing here, but added to them is the smug superiority that A.C. and several commenters bring to this site. And it’s the worst kind of smug superiority because it pretends to have the imprimatur of no smaller authority than God. It’s almost like Jesse Peterson, who has proclaimed himself to be the judge of whether any person is or is not a “good Christian,” gets channeled here. Anyone with a thinking brain ought to be terrified by the litmus test required of Peterson and his ilk. History is replete with examples of the horror that flows from such a litmus test, which is, as many refuse to understand today, the reason our founders saw fit to ensure the liberty of faith in the individual, without fear of reprisal or persecution.
I could go on, but there’s no point. Except for Jamie, who exhibits a tendency in his writing to want to please too many people all at once, this site is little more than a pool in which the misguided malcontent might pointlessly tread water, all the while refusing to believe that he is about to drown in his own rhetoric.
I shall never drown in that pool and the reason is, quite simply, that I make it my policy to listen to and learn from others, including those with whom I disagree. “We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.”