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Thursday, June 30, 2011

It’s hard to be yourself in a public forum


Anyone could have predicted that our online forum would become a contentious one because if anyone takes a definite stand, they will always be met with opposing views. I became a member of the forum when that was the status quo. People lined up on both sides, and they went at it. I guess that's OK if they are lots of posters participating, but when it dwindles down to a few; you stand out like a sore thumb.

When you're down to a small number of regular posters, a few will use this opportunity to dominate every topic. If some posters questions a decision made by our local officials, they might be labeled as whiners or being against progress.- And then it usually becomes a personal vendetta, rather than a discussion of the issues. It's the same way if a person agrees with a position favored by our local officials; those people are accused of belonging to that cabal. That's the reason I wrote my own blog about, I-69 rather than attacking a poster in a public forum. I did mention the couple posters in my blog but that was to make my position clearer.

There's no way around having a lively, often in a combative tone, when discussing social issues or politics. People come into the discussion with their prejudice, and they will not be talked out of it. Although I have seen some civil religious discussions they are few and far between. I usually stay out of the social issues, unless someone makes it about policy making and even then, I will address the legislative argument and leave. I know when I'm out of my elements.

Jared wrote an interesting blog about the word "bigot" but he didn't really give a reason for bringing up that subject other than observing a discussion. He might've been offended, so if he was, I can relate to that. He might have just wanted to get a discussion going. He’s pretty good at that. Like I stated, interesting. There were a couple other blogs where posters felt they needed to post their viewpoints about folks and their intolerance. Religion is a controversial subject, even though most of us are Christian, a lot of us don’t wear it on our sleeves. Some very intelligent people do not believe in religion, and they make a well- informed case because religion can only be backed up by faith. The nonbeliever doesn't have to prove a negative.

I just had an interesting discussion with Newcowboyintown, but I had to restrain myself from becoming negative because I thought his view on our economic situation was totally wrong. It's hard being myself, as it turns out that his second response was pretty reasonable, so I'm glad I held back. He really is a decent person, and he's someone I hope to have more civil discussion with in the future. I wonder how many times people felt that way about me? I may not want to know...Smile

It's still pretty hilarious on the national stage where Michelle Bachmann said she was not going to indulge the press by getting into a mud wrestling match with Sarah Palin.

This morning, I almost spilled hot coffee on myself when I heard MSNBC's Mark Harperin accuse president Obama of being a d**k at his press conference. He thought the new program engineer knew how to work the 7 second delay button. I happened to like the president finally stepping up and calling out the republicans who do not want to include tax increases in the negotiations. He accused Congress of having too many breaks while our nation needs to come to some kind of consensus to increase our debt ceiling. And it might have worked, because Harry Reid just canceled their recess.

I don't have a solution, but I think we'll get back to normal in a few months, when the new posters get to know everyone, and come to the decision that a disagreement doesn't make a person despicable; it just means they have a different view. After the newness wears off, they will learn who to ignore. I'm not an expert, but I've seen this before. I remember the battles just before the 2008 presidential election and the calmness afterwards.

What do you think?


Edith Ann said...

I think you've captured it well.

But the Advocate situation with the bloggers--I've been telling you forever they would eventually run off any one with a lick of sense! They are about one nose-hair away from that right now!

I didn't see the Mark Halperin thing, but I heard about it! All I can say is that it could have been worse...

Yes, Michelle Bachmann, above the fray. Today. Track that as the campaign goes on. She's wing-nut!

Speaking of wingnuts--Glenn Beck's done! Hip Hip Hooray!

Jared's blog--I was goig to comment, but everyone's about got it covered. It would be helpful if folks actually knew the definitions of the words they so casually toss about!

One last thing-- I do remember the summer before the last national election. I has some of my best comments on there! Remember how the poster Pat and I would go back and forth on the Sarah Palin tiara? Used to just pi** the ever-living snot out of southtexas! Oh we could make her so mad! I have to admit, that was fun!

Edith Ann said...

**the last Presidential election**

Mike said...

I have to agree ,you became a star durning that time period because that tiara skit was hilarious.....On the other side, Vietnam vet,ragman, and BigJ ,teamed up in not letting the right wingers get away with their nonsense. Come to think of it, I haven't seen conspiracy sites or chain letters used since Kenneth left. I remember debunking those just about every day. Every day was an adventure but it was fun.

I don't remember that many discussions on religion back then but the gay marriage and abortion issue always had a lot of comments. I've noticed that the gay marriage comments aren't as mean spirited as they used to be. Politics is not as popular as it once was because some on the right one to make it all about socialism and class warfare. Perhaps when we closer to the elections the discussions will pick up. I hope it's about the issues.

Mike said...

Perhaps my yearly bout with summer bronchitis has cleared my head because I finally get it. I made a weak attempt to get someone to discuss politics in the forum but those people are doing something else. The ones interested in discussing religion are the ones logging in more frequently..Duh. The ebb tide.

Edith Ann said...

From memory lane:

In January of the following year, I got an email from Pat and she told me she was gravely ill. We exchanged a few emails, and then she stopped responding.

Mike said...

Do you remember a poster that went by the name of "dailyrant?"

I checked checked in at the forum enough times today, to qualify for a weekly church attendance.
Sorry to hear the news about Pat.

Edith Ann said...

I don't remember anyone called 'dailyrant'.