Now, Let’s Try This
January 20, 2011 § Leave a comment
Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time on websites, often interacting as a commenter. My oldest relationship in this realm is with Slate, where I’ve been a reader and commenter since 1998. I also occasionally visit Salon, Dailykos, and other sites to read commentary and news, and to provide my input on the forums. Without question I have provided far too much free content to these websites, and I’ve received little in return.
But, aggravation at providing free content to big websites isn’t the (only) reason that I wanted to start a blog. What really concerns me is the entire concept of the echo chamber that these sights represent. Lots of other people are concerned about the echo chamber, too, but I don’t see anybody doing anything about it. So, my grand hope is that I help bring about more conversation, and less choir preaching.
For my part, I’m a conservative who isn’t all that familiar with conservative news outlets or popular conservative figures. I don’t watch Glen Beck, I don’t listen to Limbaugh, and I don’t read Mike Savage. I have no interest in reading or listening to people who only encourage my world view. My great joy (politically, anyway) is to read a liberal commentators views, and to defend my views against theirs, if I can. If I find that I can’t defend my views, then I give them credit for a good idea and move on.
That is not to say that I’m a centrist or a moderate. I’m a real life conservative who believes in small government, guns, low taxes, and the free market. I’m an MBA who is pro-business. I’m religious, but I don’t often mix my religion and my politics, though I am against abortion (for non-religious reasons). I believe that liberalism is basically dangerous, in the way that all bad ideas are dangerous, but not in the way that I fear liberals are trying to enslave me.
So, here’s what I’m going to do: Instead of providing my content to liberal websites for free, I will provide my commentary here. I hope that conservatives who wouldn’t normally go to liberal websites might come here, and see what the liberals say in their own words, rather than through the Rush’s and Beck’s filter. I also hope that liberals will come and defend their ideas, but more importantly will read closely the responses to those ideas, and consider whether they are as open minded as they like to pretend to be.
This blog is built on the concept of interaction. Comments are welcome, commenters are my goal. I will not edit or censor you, as long as you’re not a troll. Respect for other people’s ideas is optional, meanness is also optional. I think that adults should be able to handle passionate dissent, and respectful discourse is fine and good, but it’s also for pussies. If you’re an idiot, you really should be called an idiot. If someone calls you an idiot while not substantiating their statement (and being right when they do), the offending party should be intellectually destroyed by the group.
Trolls are not welcome. For my purposes you’re a troll if you are simply regurgitating what you read somewhere else without analysis or context. You’re a troll if you call someone out as some sort of fascist/marxist retard without a damn good reason. You’re a troll if you accuse people of regurgitating talking points unless you can show clearly that they have, in fact, cribbed. Trolls will be called out and banned.
Tough talk for a guy who hasn’t finished his first post or been blessed with his first commenter. But, I do think this will take off, because I believe people are hungry for balance. Balance, mind you, not fairness.