There are a lot of passionate writers here at Daily Kos. Sometimes, depending on the topic on any given discussion, those passions may run very high. I'm aware that lately, because of the revelations about the NSA, we've seen quite a bit of harsh rhetoric being used by people with differing opinions about the topic, and about the political implications.
I'm writing this diary as an honest attempt at reaching out to people who vehemently disagree with my positions, my ideas, and my understanding of the status quo, hoping to start a serious and respectful discussion among what could be considered different leftists and centrist faction (in the political spectrum).
From what I've seen, it seems to me that in very broad terms, it may be possible to identify discernible factions who frequent Daily Kos.
I'm going to take a stab at it, but please know that I'm doing so carefully, not intending to offend anybody.
Here's the spectrum, as I see it:
- Democratic Party Loyalists: Reliable Democrats who see themselves as pragmatic, and who believe in working within the system, with the intention of electing more and better Democrats. They understand that politics is about compromise, and believe in incremental achievements.
- Progressives: Progressives are mainly interested in social justice and in stamping out government corruption and abuse. They don't necessarily go along with the notion of accepting the "lesser of two" evils when it comes to politics, seeing that approach as counterproductive to democracy.
There is a wide spectrum between those two broad categories, but essentially, when it comes to conflict, Democratic Party Loyalists tend to see Progressives (as defined here) as purists, fringy, and thus, ineffective when it comes to politics.
Progressives (as defined here), tend to see loyalists as sellouts and apologists for a corrupt system (and political party).
Because this is my diary, I'm sure that if I have any biases they will manifest themselves, but I will try my best to be as objective and neutral as possible since I'm sincerely trying to reach out to people with whom I usually disagree.
Regarding the two factions, Democratic Party Loyalists, and Progressives, I'm going to make a very simple assumption: All of them are intelligent, honest, and ethical people.
People who are familiar with my "way of thinking" by now know my positions:
That the U.S. government has been taken over by corporatist cartels (for all intends and purposes); that any remnants of democracy have ceased to exist in this country, having been replaced by a farcical and corrupt political system; and that aside from political participation, and social activism, there needs to be a peaceful uprising in opposition of what I call a rising "proto-fascist" system. And that there is a rich tradition in this country of social justice activism in opposition of exploitation and oppression.I'm fully aware that not only party loyalists consider my position "fringy," but it is a position that the majority of American would consider such (i.e., they would disagree with me).
Here's the fundamental question: If you are a Democratic Party Loyalist, how do you think we could bridge the gap between our two positions?
I'm aware that one positive step would be for me to stop calling you an apologist, complicit with the corporatist takeover of the country, and for you to stop calling me a tin-foil-wearing fringe conspiracy theorist.
Yes, I know name-calling is counterproductive. But aside from that, how can people who believe we still live in a functioning democracy and that the Democratic party represents our interests, can find ways to collaborate with people who believe that democracy in this country is a farce, and that corporatist cartels have taken over the levers of power?
Yes, I'm getting older, but I would like to think that I'm always able and willing to learn, to expand my views, to look at things from different angles.
One thing I'm coming to understand is that even if I'm right about my accusations regarding "apologists" for a corrupt system, or if you are right about your accusations of me being fringy and ineffective when it comes to both, social justice activism, and politics, we don't really advance any cause by being at loggerheads over these issues; over our different worldviews.
In a practical way, how can we work together?