We still have the luxury of some form of free speech. This site has had some who complain about being limited in one way or another. I hate statistics so I will warn the numbers buffs that I write intuitively and I write opinions that I do not try to disguise as "facts". I will now stick my neck out and ask the question that has burning in my mind during my many years here and during my reading comments to my diaries which are far from main stream for this site. Let me explain that I have been an activist since the early 1960s and was a movement leader back in the beginning. I worked to stop the draft, marched on Washington many times, was a delegate to the New Politics Convention and among the first to support "Black Power" and "Women's Lib", and did many, many other things. (I say this only to short circuit the one group of arrogant comentors who treat everyone as if they are politically naive.). As a faculty member I was the only one willing to sponsor a SDS chapter. I have worked in and out of the Democratic Party from its most extreme left wing. Some years back I chose this site as a place to write and express my views. From time to time I like to criticize our efforts from the President on down. I am on this site just about every day. At 77 I am fortunate to be a leading scholar in my field and pretty good amateur at this stuff. As I read through the offerings here I am forced to wonder how much the diaries here contribute to strengthening our efforts. Read on below and I will explain.
First of all I will talk about diary content, then I will talk about the comments to those diaries.
I don't think we need to pay the numbers game for me to make my point. In recent years especially, the republicans have blessed us with the Tea Buggers and their ilk so that we could write an infinite number of diaries capitalizing on their ignorance and stupidity. They also have been kind enough to state their hate for the poor, for ethnic groups, forwomen, and for us in the stupidest ways imaginable. My question is how useful is it for us to write on and on about this? My suggestion is that we are far from perfect and in fact they still have us gridlocked. Therefore is not the most relevant thing we need to spend our energies on the way we solve this problem? The idea that pointing out their stupidity and ignorance over and over again does not solve anything nor does it demonstrate the writers brilliance!
I am not coming from a vacuum here. I have over 600 diaries here and have tried to use them to help us grow. Many who comment are constructive and I have learned a lot from their thoughts. But there is a significant number of commenters who seem to simply want to show how clever they are by asking the same stale kind of questions. Their comments in some ways mimic the diaries that are written to capitalize on the the lack of ideas from the "other side" but fail miserably when aimed at honest attempts to make our case stronger.
This is not just a question of "style". It is a question of attitude. In the 1960s we had coalitions of twenty or thirty organizations from the left and we learned to work together because we believed in our cause. I can remember few, if any, with the arrogance of those I see here.
I am not interested in debate for its own sake. If you think you are clever then please offer us a way out of the mess we are in. Tearing down the other side and tearing down those of us you feel you can get ego gratification from attacking is not what we need. We are in a very serious situation and we need to get out of it. If you don't have answers, attacking those who offer them is not an answer As we said in the 1960s, "If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem".