I started coming to Daily Kos in 2008, just about the time the Democratic primaries finished up. And yeah, sometime in 2009 I ponied up the hundred bucks -- not a small amount of money, for me -- for a lifetime subscription to the site.
And no, I don't actually expect to get my money back. But I don't expect to be around here any more. And because I love some of the folks here, I thought I should say why, and goodbye.
The first pie-fight I was here for was the one that followed Tim Russert's untimely death. I'd been lurking sporadically and had just registered, and the uproar -- and vitriol -- took me aback. I was looking for discussion of shared political principles and how to act on them, and I began to wonder if I was in the right place.
I hung in there: kept visiting the site, got to know some of the communities and the frequent diarists. Pie fights were frequent, but thoughtful, well-reasoned communication happened too. A lot of the edge in many of the on-line "voices," I thought, probably was a toxic effect of an eight-year GWB administration; of course people were angry, and of course they were getting more and more tense as the election got closer.
Then the Democrats won the election, and I thought the atmosphere here might get less angry. Boy, was I a n00b. Call it rage addiction, call it political PTSD, call it what you will -- the habit of perpetual combativeness, both on the front page and in the diaries, has not relaxed even a little.
And if that's what gets you up in the morning and keeps you working for a better world, then FSM bless you. Me, I find it exhausting and depressing.
Which grieves me no end, because in some ways this remains the coolest place ever. The night that the diaries went up remembering and honoring exmearden, I fell in love with all of you, all over again. In the IGTNT diaries, the Grieving Room, the kiddie pool in Cheers 'n Jeers, the pootie people, the spontaneous goofy exchanges in open threads, I've been touched, tickled, hugged, cheered, and educated over and over again.
Politics, though -- especially since the midterms -- I just can't do here any more. The rage, the reactivity, the name-calling, the demonizing: it doesn't teach me. It doesn't energize me. It doesn't make me a better Democrat, or a better activist, or a better human being. It's not everybody; I get that. But it's enough somebodies to be incredibly loud.
I need to be spending my blog-time, and getting my political news, at sites where political discussion stays based in substance, without devolving into rhetorical extremes. (Where's that??? Well, I'll be searching.) And, dearly as I'd love to keep coming back here for the community diaries, I need to not click here. In the binary/digital universe, clicks = approval; when I come to visit a pootie diary, I'm boosting dKos's traffic numbers. And, politically, I shouldn't be counted as traffic here any longer.
So, damn. Gotta go. If you don't care, that's cool. If you think I'll miss you, I surely will. I really did get my hundred buck's worth. I just can't "pay" any more.
Take care, everybody.