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You know, there are times when I want to do a meme on "What enemy of… - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
You know, there are times when I want to do a meme on "What enemy of the left are you?" or a big-letter essay on why G-d exists and religion is good. Occasionally, I've thought of having a banner saying "Vote Republican." Now and then, I've thought about ranting about all the things that bug me about multiculturalism as practiced, or about why I think it's perfectly proper to have religion in the public square. But I realize there are a lot of people on my f-list disagree, and I'd prefer not to offend them, so I treat their beliefs (or lack of same) with as much respect as I can muster, because I believe it to be the right thing to do. I think that respect for differing viewpoints is the key to getting along pleasantly and talking about things that are more universal and permanent than politics.
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affabletoaster From: affabletoaster Date: July 13th, 2004 09:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Do what I do: have a politics filter, and only put those who request to be involved on it. I've had a few political arguments before, and found it a safer way to go. Less stress, but the ability to think in writing about issues like that.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2004 09:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I actually have a whole 'nother journal (miss_w), but I keep forgetting to use it, and also have the same issue--I don't want to insult people who disagree.
pathstotread From: pathstotread Date: July 13th, 2004 09:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi. *waves* I friended you so I could keep up with your fic Shifts, and I just wanted to say I completely agree with this post (from a fellow "enemy of the left"). I also agree our society won't get anywhere unless we respect different points of view. So all that to say, nice post. :)
mincot From: mincot Date: July 13th, 2004 10:19 am (UTC) (Link)
It is very hard to have intelligent political discussion these days. PArtisans on both the left and the right tend to see disagreement as a failure to comprehend. It's the old cry of "If you understood you would agree with me," as if there is room for only one right opinion.

Because of that, however, I think there has to be civil debate and discussion. If we don't start trying to revive civil discourse at every level of our society, then the situation will only get worse. The specifics of politics may be fleeting, but the existence of politics goes way back in human history. It is going to be with us a very long time, and talking about it is necessary.

This committed left-wing Democrat would like to hear what you have to say, and will not take opinions that differ from hers as evidence that holders of said opinons are being wilfully offensive, feeble-minded, damned to hell, or any other dismissive thing. So long, that is, as said opinions are thoughtfully expressed and well supported. She would like to hope that she can, in such discourse, hold herself to the same standards. ;) If we can't talk to each other and hear each other's opinions, then we are in trouble as a society.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2004 12:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's the old cry of "If you understood you would agree with me," as if there is room for only one right opinion.

Mm-hmm. That's exactly it--a failure to understand that people of good will can disagree about values, or even about methods to achieve the same value. That's why the vilifying of Clinton (please... the Clinton hit list?) during the Clinton years bugged me as much as the vilifying of Bush now. Disagree with the guy if you want to. Or think the guy's a sexist jerk if you want to (though claiming shock and surprise at it always struck me as disingenuous). But the former doesn't require loathing, and the latter doesn't have anything at all to do with policy. Even highly flawed human beings can have good ideas, so it's always a strange argument. But the same goes with the Bush-bashing. I'm not wild about him--I'm honestly not crazy about any contemporary leaders; I think they're all pretty small people--but he's just a guy, muddling through a bad time as well as he can. If you think Kerry will muddle more effectively, then that's who you should vote for. If you think Bush's muddling is more or less on target, then that's who you should vote for. There's no reason to slam the men.

In the end, it probably comes down thinking, "How would I muddle through this particular world situation, if people were looking to me to solve it? And how do I believe I should, if that's different?"
silverhill From: silverhill Date: July 13th, 2004 10:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I know how you feel. I am extremely opinionated. And I have very strong beliefs about politics, current events, etc. I could easily go on long partisan rants. But I want to keep my journal fun and not all deadly serious and political. And I don't want to alienate people on my f-list. That's why my comments on Fahrenheit 9/11 were extremely low-key and apolitical.

That said, I don't mind rants from you (even if I disagree with them) because I know you are a highly reasoning person who thinks for herself and doesn't just spout some hypocritical party line.
natgel From: natgel Date: July 13th, 2004 10:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't see why you should be concerned about stating your opinions and personal beliefs on your own journal. I probably won't agree with you on too many subjects, given what you wrote in this post, but it's okay to disagree, I have my own opinions on these matters and I don't see why I (or anybody else) should ever be insulted by other people having opinions. As long as you don't go out and say "These people/these beliefs are stupid" or whatever, we're fine :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 13th, 2004 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not so much my opinions that I don't want to post so much as the kind of silly meme jokes and so on that I see a lot of out there. I'm sure there exist right-wing versions of them, and I'll cop to being tempted sometimes to go find them, but in the end, I don't think they're helpful to the discourse.
sophonax From: sophonax Date: July 13th, 2004 10:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. As far as I can tell, I disagree with you on pretty much all of those issues, but I wouldn't mind seeing them in your journal at all. So much of my friendslist is people with whom I'm pretty in tune politically, and all pretty much assuming that anyone they meet is going to agree with them. As a result, I find I don't have to *think* that much about my positions, at least on LJ, because I find very little to challenge them or even remind me that there are people who don't hold them! (And I do find the insinuation that anyone who doesn't hold them is an idiot to be pretty tiresome.) Of course, I don't have to look far to find opposing arguments--flip on FoxNews, or whatever--but it's nice to match an actual personality (and good writer!) to opposing opinions once in awhile. Such essays/memes, however much I might disagree with them, would be welcome on my friendslist, as long as they don't adopt the strident tone that's often found on the lefty ones.
mafdet From: mafdet Date: July 13th, 2004 10:47 am (UTC) (Link)
This lefty liberal multicultural feminist Democrat says, "What mincot said." You are an intelligent, reasoning person, so I'd be happy to hear about your opinions. I don't necessarily expect everyone on my f-list to share my political views.

mincot pointed this out, and again I agree with her, that "left" and "right" in this country are so polarized there really is no intelligent dialogue. Which is a pity, because I feel there are issues this country needs to face that there's no reason for "left" and "right" not to come together on some issues.

Anyhow, please feel free to post. I may well disagree and tell you so, but I promise to be civil. Just don't ever say "Tonks is a big Mary Sue!" :P
moeyknight From: moeyknight Date: July 13th, 2004 10:57 am (UTC) (Link)
You just stated what I've been feeling for the past several weeks now. Many of the more liberal-leaning people on my friends list seem a bit vehement when expressing their views and their dislike of anything or anyone that disagrees with them, and I usually fall into that disagreeing category. If I were to take what some of them have said to heart, I'd be very upset because in just the past week or so I've been called everything from a moron to just plain evil. And since I don't like to offend anyone either, I just keep quiet and don't even bother to comment on the more thoughtful (and non name-calling) posts. It's unfortunate, but I learned that some people can't separate the argument from the arguer, and until I'm absolutely sure that they can, I just don't say anything at all. In the meantime, I go and take out my frustrations in a good R/H vs. H/H argument. ;)
cheshyre From: cheshyre Date: July 13th, 2004 11:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I may not agree with your opinions, but you strike me as somebody able to articulate them in ways I'd like to read.
If you do, you might want to set some groundrules for discussion (no personal or adhominem attacks, whatever) with an understanding that you have the right to delete rude responses. Or, you could possibly disable comments for those posts to avoid the conflict altogether (let people who really feel the need to post responses do it in their own journals). Others have already suggested filters.

What I'm trying to say in my own clumsy manner is that I'd like to read what you want to write, and would like to find some way you'd feel comfortable writing about it.
likeafox From: likeafox Date: July 13th, 2004 11:09 am (UTC) (Link)
You should go ahead and post your opinions; I know I'd love to read them. Everyone above who has said there isn't enough civil debate in our country these days is right. I enjoy having well thought out political discussions, and if, at the end of the day, you simply have to agree to disagree then so be it, at least you were involved.
buongiornodaisy From: buongiornodaisy Date: July 13th, 2004 11:25 am (UTC) (Link)

Respect does not equate to silence. If you have an opinion, by all means say it. There is a way to state your opinion without insulting someone--just say it in a calm, intelligent, thought-out way. I mean, after all, there are many liberals whose passionately stated opinions are very offensive to conservatives, and yet they, when confronted with this fact, disregard the opinions of the conservatives as misled and bigoted. You don't have to act the same way, but being silent about it because you might offend someone? Politics in this country needs voices to the contrary, and I, for one, would love to hear more conservatives defend their positions on the web.
sreya From: sreya Date: July 13th, 2004 11:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, like you said, you do have the miss_w account. I've set up a "real life" journal account myself, because I just know eventually I'm going to want to speak up about politics or religion or some other "taboo" subject. (Though I haven't used it quite yet)

I guess the reason I like to keep my sreya journal fan-focused isn't so much that I'm afraid of offending anyone, but because my fandoms are supposed to be an escape. I don't really want to be mixing up my fears and frustrations about the world with my fantasies. Sure, sometimes those things come through in what I write or the way I analyze these fictional worlds, but it's still different because then it's within a controlled environment, and I know that if I don't quite get things right, there's no real consequence to it. Other than someone saying "Naw, don't think that works" anyway. I think I tend to "friend" people who are generally the same -- I prefer watching fan journals that don't have a mix of politics in them. Although there are a few journals I'll watch anyway if the politics that are there are something I find interesting, instead of just on the level of "Bush is dumb".

I do have your other journal on my friends list just so that I can see when you do come up with your rants, because what I've seen on there so far has been very insightful. Helps that I seem to be similarly aligned. :~)
jiminyc From: jiminyc Date: July 13th, 2004 11:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll toss my hat in here with many others and say that, while I (as a liberal Democrat) may not share all of your political views, I have no problem with you saying them. I am always open to hearing all kinds of viewpoints...they may be miles away from mine but they also may make me rethink my own opinions, so I think it's important to always be willing to listen (or read, as the case may be). And I doubt there's any opinion you could express that would lessen my admiration for you as an intelligent person and a gifted writer.
scionofgrace From: scionofgrace Date: July 13th, 2004 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
But I so enjoy hearing well-reasoned arguments that don't degenerate into name-calling and false syllogisms! It is hard not to lower oneself to the level of the noisy rabble of both sides, isn't it? I love debating things with people who think things through, but it is so hard when I feel like I'm being bludgeoned with bad arguments.

You could hide it behind an lj-cut with lots of warnings, though I'm not sure how much good it would do.
kelleypen From: kelleypen Date: July 13th, 2004 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

politics and faith

As a "Compassionate Libertarian" I say go for it. (and the religion discussion at SQ is one of my favorite) As long as you respect another's opinions, it's okay to disagree. It's the people who assume that anyone-who-disagrees-with-me-is-an-idiot who offend. And I'm afraid that too many of the extreme believers on both sides patronize anyone who doesn't see things their way. That's when I get offended by both. What's the point of assuming that anyone who doesn't agree with you is too stupid to know any better? What happens to intelligent discourse? All we end up with is belligerent back stabbing and pettiness.
sannalim From: sannalim Date: July 13th, 2004 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: politics and faith

:And I'm afraid that too many of the extreme believers on both sides patronize anyone who doesn't see things their way.
*snerk* Sound like the R/H vs H/H shipping wars, anyone?

In a more serious vein, I would also like to hear what you have to say. My Flist is pretty balanced between liberals and conservatives--but the liberals tend to be far more vocal in voicing their views and opinions. I would greatly welcome more active conservative voices (that is to say, folks I can agree with).
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