There is a wide diversity of opinion among Kossacks, and yet there are hard lines between comments that are within the purpose of this community and those that are either irrelevant or antithetical to it. One of those lines is the requirement that statements at least have some discernable relationship to reality - a principle that had become threatened when this site was inundated with Truthers - and the founder, owner, and namesake of this community decided he would defend it from that threat and extirpate Trutherism and other irrational CT. We fight for freedom of speech, but that doesn't mean we have to tolerate madness or hate speech in our own homes, and Markos decided enough was enough. Apparently it is time for another round.
When the Truthers were thrown out, I am sure many of them flung accusations of hypocrisy at us, called us right-wing shills, corporate puppets, or raved about Markos being a CIA plant or some other such batshit. And I am sure their accusations made a lot of sincere people nervous and reflective, and perhaps even disagree with the decision to ban Truther content. But I for one have found this community to be a bastion of reason, credible information, progressive values, and Democratic activism precisely because such standards are enforced. Until now.
Now there is a diary on the Rec List that is, while thoughtful and well-written, is simply, definitively anti-American. And it is not an isolated case of a respected contributor posting idiosyncratic ideas, but rather an example of a general trend that I've been noting for some time. A trend toward diaries and comments from an increasingly spiteful, irrational, bitter, and paranoid fringe that does not even represent the majority of progressive activists, let alone Democrats. A trend toward promulgating one fear- or hate-based rumor stacked on top of another until the zeitgeist of fantasy walls itself off into an alternate universe.
The lies snowball into accepted truths, which then obtain social legitimacy when people are badgered into not HRing them, and suddenly Kossacks find themselves on the defensive when they, whimperingly and humbly, suggest that maybe Barack Obama is not an idiot, weakling, or corrupt corporate puppet, and America is not a shithole comprised of evil, racist, religious fundamentalist bigots. We find ourselves called "right-wing" or "centrists" for stating facts because those facts do not support the ideological shadow plays being put on by these vile, hate-driven commenters.
We are seeing events unfold in our community that we were, only a few months before, gleefully witnessing in the Republican Party as the teabaggers took over and methodically extinguished any last trace of political relevance in its leadership. "The Democrats" has now become a third-person reference rather than a reference to ourselves, despite the clear and unambiguous statement that this is a Democratic blog, and even "The United States" is taking on increasingly blatant connotations as something posters are referring to as The Other.
The diary that spurred this response is not irrational like many that are part of this phenomenon, and its tone is certainly more reasonable, but for me it is the straw that broke the camel's back. I give that diarist - whom I will not specifically refer to, in order to avoid running afoul of "call-out" rules - credit for the diary's eloquence and thoughtfulness, but ultimately what it expresses is something that does not belong here and does not serve our purposes. It is, in fact, largely significant as an indicator of how legitimized viewpoints have become around here that are 100% at odds with the purpose of this community.
It does not say "I am unhappy with what America is doing, so I will work to change it." It does not say "I am unhappy with what America is doing, so I will try to limit my contributions to what I find objectionable." It does not even say "I am unhappy with what America is doing, so I will leave it until it changes for the better." No. Rather, it is rejecting the United States body and soul, going all the way back to its Founding, and declaring our nation an inherently illegitimate and evil entity that deserves no support. And this is on the Rec List - the list that communicates to the world what we stand for.
Enough is enough. Like the proverbial Elvis, common sense has left the building, and it is time to reaffirm the purpose of this community. Kossacks are Americans and friends of America abroad; Democrats and friends of the Democratic Party abroad; and if a comment or diary doesn't fit into any one of those categories, it doesn't belong here. The rules are already clear in text, but they are not clear in fact until they are enforced. Kos, Meteor Blades, et al...I invoke you and call down the wrath of Olympus on the despicable content that has been allowed to pervert this community's character and retard its effectiveness. If you choose not to, all I can say is it's your decision, and your blog to lose. I'm not going anywhere in any case, but I would rather be fighting Republicans than spending all my time combating the propaganda of Truthers and people who openly revile this country and its people. Take back your blog.