Why I Blog About The Direction Conservatives Are Going

Maintaining a blog as a hobby can be a challenge for those of us with a busy professional as well as personal life. We are at a tremendous disadvantage in competing for attention against those who work for political publications and can devote much of their work day to this. One way to maximize the use of time is to avoid wasting  time on commenters who do not have anything meaningful to contribute. There are plenty of other sites out there for those who just want to argue.

Some who comment on blogs read only one post and extrapolate a wide variety of views upon the writer, generally within a limited left versus right framework. This problem is compounded when they believe that liberals actually hold the views attacked by some right wing pundits in their never ending straw men attacks.

Generally when I receive a comment which is based upon attacking me for views which are quite different than the views I actually hold and express here I will not waste any time on it. It is just generally not worth my time to correct their misconceptions, especially if they have not taken the time to actually read the blog before launching an attack.

One reason I will generally not waste time posting and responding to uninformed comments is that a blog post might be read by thousands (including subscribers to the RSS feed, Kindle subscribers, and readers of posts picked up by online versions of newspapers through Blogburst).  A comment is read by a much smaller number of people, making it a poor use of time to respond to attacks which have little to do with what I actually wrote.

I did make an exception today in responding to this comment. Having spent the time to write it, I thought it was worth bumping up to a new post, primarily as it once again shows my interest in the direction conservatives are moving in. This is for those who see every criticism of conservatives as coming only from Democrats and ignore the importance of independents. My response (much of which holds up alone, and other parts of which are more directly in response to the preceding comment):

Your open hostility towards free debate and freedom of expression is really disturbing. Political debate is an important part of a democracy. If you oppose such freedom of expression, you at least might avoid the blogosphere as such expression is a basic part of what blogs do.

Beyond that there are major errors and contradictions in your argument. You write about winning and one side having its way, assuming that all of politics comes down to just two competing ideas. The world is far too complicated a place to divide it between two views as you and many ideologues of both sides too often do.

Before commenting with generalities to a blog post you should read the blog and respond to the actual beliefs being expressed, not the beliefs you project upon others. You believe I only need a pick up of three Senate seats, assuming incorrectly that I am a Democrat or wish for one party to have total control of government. If you actually read this blog you would realize I am an independent who often has been critical of both parties. I have written of the dangers of one party, regardless of which party, having total control, and expressed a preference that the Democrats remain shy of sixty Senate votes. Ideally I would prefer that we do not even have one party control both houses of Congress as well as the White House.

There is a problem with a preference for divided government when one party has ceased to be able to respond meaningfully to current problems. There is a reason why independents have been moving towards the Democratic Party in recent years. Rush Limbaugh is a showman. He has no coherent political views beyond a set of simplistic talking points. People like Limbaugh, Coulter, and Hannity appeal to the worst parts of human nature and ignorance and do attract an audience. This does not mean that their views should become the guiding principles of a political party. Hoping to see the restoration of a viable two party system, I am interested when some conservatives support rejecting the anti-intellectual, authoritarian, no-nothing mindset which has taken control of the conservative movement.

You also contradict your own premise. If the world was really divided into two political sides your argument against debunking the other side when wrong would still make no sense. You totally contradict yourself when you write of parties rising and falling. If political dominance is transient, this would only provide increased reason to continue to show where the other party is wrong to delay the chances of them returning to power.

Of course in a two party system it is inevitable that the other party will return to office. It was the conservatives who lived in a fantasy bubble, believing they had built a permanent Republican majority. It is the Republicans who crashed quite hard. It is both inevitable and desirable that the Democrats will not remain in power forever. A Democrat would therefore have interest in internal debates among Republicans as to which ideas will dominate. As an independent, I have an even greater stake in this.

Some partisan Democrats do hope that the Limbaugh/Palinization of the GOP continues as it will make it harder for them to win in the future. As an independent I totally reject that line of thought. I believe the country would be better off with two viable political parties which are presenting different but sensible plans to respond to the nation’s problems. This means that the Republicans will need to change their direction. They must abandon the anti-intellectualism of the Limbaugh and Palin followers which ignores any facts which do not fit into their extreme ideology. They also must abandon the form of social conservatism which advocates using the power of government to impose their religious views upon others. It is not a matter of whether anyone is right or wrong on these social issues but that they do not belong in government policy. Hatred of others, which is the core belief of Limbaugh and his followers, has no place in a political party.

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