posted on Dec, 25 2004 @ 12:19 PM
Firstly, I have no idea what kind of response I hope to get out of this post, but I want to point out a few aspects of some of the posts that I see
that really make me cynically laugh (at best) or tear my hair out (at worst). This is supposed to be a serious forum on the issues, but most of the
posts seem to be rather pointless in nature, and undermine the value of arguements - ALL arguements. They come in all shapes and sizes, but here are a
The Opinionated Statements (which CANNOT be supported by evidence)
EG: "Bush = Hitler" or "Kerry = liberal takeover of america...blah blah blah)" - sounds stupid as an example? Sounds way more stupid as the sum
total of an actual post.
The Pointless Statements (which will never be agreed to by the opposition)
EG: "We KNOW that there was no plane at the Pentagon" or "what do you expect after fighting a war for oil?"
Does anyone seriously believe that they are gonna convert ANYONE ELSE to such beliefs simply by sticking them in as a reply to a post that has nothing
to with it? Exactly WHAT is the point of preaching to one's own choir? let us instead argue out our ideas by supporting them with INDISPUTABLE facts.
To seriously argue on the merits of one ideology over another, you need SOME common ground.
The Ill-Considered Statements
EG: "the islamists this the islamists that" or "how typically american"
How often have we seen posts like this? You'd think that we'd get over stupid generalizations like that which are abhorrent and border on rascism.
Just WHAT are people who post stuff like that trying to achieve?
I could go on and on and on...the vast majority of posts out there just distract from the issues. Can anyone here actually say that they have seen ONE
thread following a linear arguement seriously without getting distracted by such things? How do you expect to DENY IGNORANCE with ignorance itself?
I'm a pretty new member, and I expect a lot of you will be now shaking your heads and saying: "Think the board is not good enough for you? Then get
off!" But it's not that at all. I truly believe that EVERYONE with a view that they truly believe in should be respected for it, but that
presentation matters. Take the pro-Bush, anti-Bush arguement (which permeates nearly EVERY war on terrorism thread, even the abstract-idea-aimed
ones). Some of the posts of the above variety really undermine the values of both camps. Some of the comments of fellow supporters of the President
make me ashamed to be among them. And I bet that some of his opponents can identify with that shame that I feel.
Others might say: "We're all free to say what we want, screw you" Fine, screw me. But aren't we all supposed to better ourselves through careful
study of ideologies, rather than mudslinging at each other, or demonizing anyone who disagrees with us? Freedom of Speech is important...people have
died in its name. When we waste time hurling insults at each other and other nonsense we undermine the value of that sacrifice. Free Speech is NOT the
same as Cheap Talk.
So there...I don't expect this to be The Rant To End All Rants. In fact, I have a depressing fear that most of the replies to this will be
negative...but I'm hoping that at least some of you identify with what I'm saying here. We NEED to start seriously discussing the issues here.
Passion is good, and I would LOVE conversing with someone who can be opposed to what I believe without demonizing me, or what I believe.
Conversations like that actually present people with the true value of all ideological camps, and allow them to be true to themselves when choosing
which camp to align with, instead of simply regurgitating micheal moore or the swiftboat veterans for truth. It appalls me that some people would have
not voted for Bush based purely on someone elses propaganda. It equally appalls me that some would have not voted for Kerry (who, while I don't agree
with him, is, I think, a decent, competent, honorable man) based on people trying to tear him down based on questionable info.
And This is exactly what happens here most of the time. Well it's gonna be 2005 soon. Let's make a collective political New Year's Resolution to
try to become better arguers. Let us not derail any threads with hatred, bombast, preaching to our choirs, or any of the other ways in which we do so
now. Let us present each other with the passion of our beliefs, but do so in a way that respects the passion of those opposed to us. If your heart is
filled with generalized hatred, go get a gun and settle your problems that way. On this board at least, let's treat people who disagree with us as
the opposition, NOT the enemy.