07 July 2007

Progressives. . .

So I have a couple left-o'-centrists who read this blog, and a few more who read my LJ. Some of them are really wonderful people whom I happen to disagree with on subjects political. I like to flatter myself that occasionally I make them think about things from a different perspective than the usual internet ideological circle jerk (you know, where the comments on any particular blog tend to be all wingnuts of the Left or Right and there isn't any actual thought going on). Once in a while, their perspective is interesting illuminating. Doesn't often change my mind outright, but they certainly make me tighten up my arguments!

Anyway, so one particular wingnut posted an in-depth rebuttal of a journalist who wrote a positive story on Iraq. Got over a hundred lickspittles to post comments glorifying him for having the immense cleverness to call a journalist a "wanker". So this progressive fellow dares to comment differently, to wit:

"Thing is, there's a possibility he's not full of shit, for once. The perspective of a number of the guys 'in the shit', as it were, is that yeah, what's being done now IS working, and while the administration's been spinning their wheels and being utter idiots about it all, the military has not.

"A good example of this is The Marching Camp, which is the blog of a friend-of-a-friend who's done multiple tours in Iraq and is of... a markedly different opinion than many here on what progress is being made.

"And on just about everything else, too, but it's worth a read. After all, having more information is always good."

Now, I'm not a Progressive wing-nut, but from my perspective this appears to be a reasoned and civil comment. Do not that this comment is, near as I can tell, the longest in the entire comment section and almost the only one to use proper English for the entire thing. :)

So, of course, he gets called a troll a couple times for his troubles, and there is no acknowledgment whatsoever that either he or I have anything worthwhile to offer. After all, I'm not "Progressive" so I must be a genocidal monster or whatever.

But I do get one nice comment (on my Most Depressing Tribute Song post) to wander over to a reader's blog to answer some questions she has.

What do I find when I get there? On the "Chicago Dyke's Blog", there is, tagged with the label 'Fascism Rising,' a link to my blog. Her verdict on me?

"I believe that many of this stripe in the military have come to understand that unstinting loyalty to the Bush party means a lifetime of wingnut welfare after service, and this is the reason they continue to serve willingly and happily in what is an obvious military disaster. We’ll see if Decurion is brave enough to come by here and explain to me if I’m wrong."

You know, it's really hard to pretend there is much worth discussing with the Left if this is what they honestly believe. I posted a comment which I doubt will ever see daylight, and of course the Chicago Dyke's loyal flying monkeys will gleefully congratulate her for 'speaking truth to power' or whatever the buzzword for trollery is in the Leftist blogosphere. I'm going to, because I'm basically an idealist who wants to believe the best of people, attempt to have a civil conversation. I'm going to attempt to convey what it is I believe and why. But I will keep you folks updated because I already have the very strong feeling that this is going to be a giant waste of time--as is speaking to the True Believers of any religion.


Blogger dracphelan said...

I have several liberal friends whose response to Chicago Dyke (and those like her) is "Stop being on my side!" They really hate it when people on either side demand ideological purity and want no debate on any issues.
I think one of my friends summed it up best, "We have the same goals. We just believe in different methods of achieving them."

12:19 AM  
Blogger chidy said...

if you choose not to ban me, i'm going to keep this conversation going. there are many reasons why i'm not the liberal idiot you think i am. example one: my marine corps service. after i got my first degree (hint). example two: my father's army intel work, as an expert in russian (he is fluent, trained in monterey) sigint. i can keep going.

i am not the "progressive" you think i am, nor are my grandmother (an atheist socialist who nursed WWII vets) and uncles (VA doctors working in the psych wards with PTSD vets of many wars). i will be at my 'hood VA center next month, as i have been in charitable endeavors for many, many years. i know who i will find, and what they will say. because i've lived it.

please don't dismiss what i'm trying to do here. i want to talk with you, i want us to make the world better, "your side" and "mine." most of all, i want you to appreciate that the meaning of freedom is that we can have this discussion, and others can benefit.

it's late, i'm tired, but this isn't over, unless you ban me. it is possible you will threaten to rape me to death with barbed wire (which the last service member of your political ilk did, when i started to blog/talk with him in this way). but if you don't, we won't ban you. be better than him, and keep talking. i promise i'll keep reading.

6:46 AM  
Blogger chidy said...

and please note your commet is up, and not edited or modified in any way, at my blog. so don't worry about us censoring you. we don't do that, unless you're also selling porn/spam.

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like your military is very different than mine.

I post over at the same place as Chicago Dyke.

I wonder if you realize how much respect those of us -- and yes, I'm a veteran; and service is a tradition in my family, too -- have for you, and for the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guards?

It isn't that we don't want to hear what you have to say, or that we don't want you to survive your deployment, and return safe to your home, family, friends and neighbors.

We may not agree with you; but we will defend your right to speak your piece, hold your belief, stake your claim; and from the heart of the diversity that is our community, we reach one accord: we each regret the risk you must face, and we each beseech our own higher power for your safe return from this war.

You're not targets, to us -- although we may be to you. You're not ciphers, dehumanized "other", or the outright enemy. You're part of our family, one among our friends and neighbors. We know what you do, and what you put up with, for the sake of the flag you salute, the uniform you wear, and the honor with which you conduct yourself -- which brings honor to the uniform, the service, the flag, and the nation.

But we cannot let our acknowledgment of your skills, your experience, your point of view, your worth, your humanity, your soldierliness, blind us to the nature of the leadership that sends you, and so many others just like you, into harm's way and lies to you just as much as to us about why.

If you find what I have written uncivil, you are welcome to delete it. I will post this identical comment in the thread at corrente, and you can ask for its deletion there, as well.
The Other Sarah

8:59 AM  
Blogger David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 07/08/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention updated throughout the day…so check back often. This is a weekend edition so updates are as time and family permits.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Lea said...


First, let me introduce myself as an attempting-to-recover-perspective Progressive Wingnut. I read your blog specifically for the purpose of hearing a reasonably civil, reasonably reasoned argument from the other side of the fence, so to speak. I'm afraid that there are trolls on both sides of the fence, and bad on her for luring you to an insulting diatribe. All I know to do about it is listen to reason and ignore propaganda politely. Thank you for not merely being a True Believer.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Zero Ponsdorf said...

I dunno, all these folk calling for you reasonable is kinda spooky.

Now that you're a Poster Boy you have to watch your image. [grin]

3:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I posted a comment which I doubt will ever see daylight

Tell me all about it ...


4:54 AM  
Anonymous John_of_arabia said...

"rape me to death with barbed wire (which the last service member of your political ilk did"

Oh yeah, that's what we do.

6:01 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

You have said you will not post at Corrente again. I am sorry to hear that, for the last couple of days have proven your conversation invigorating. Please reconsider. Yes, we're "True Believers," but this is our religion: "... one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

-- The Other Sarah

6:27 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I have to just LOVE what Sarah quoted incompletely. I will boldface the part she omitted.

"... one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

In those two words, the entire argument is encapuslated.

A person who denies God--the Righteous source of Good, will also deny that there is Evil.

Fundamentally, in Iraq and elsewhere in the GWOT we are fighting Evil. This particular form of Evil is generally called 'Islamofascism', but this is a mere reflection of the Evil we see throughout history.

We can all name prominent examples of this kind of Evil from the last century: Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, and Ho Chi Minh. Each Evil had a different name: Naziism, Comunism, Khmer Rouge, etc.

The mantra of the Liberal Left is that the current Administration should be included in that list. Yet any objective comparison of the qualities of that list to the current America are shows distinct differences.

When was Krystalnacht? Where are the US death camps? Where are they psyciatric wards filled with political prisoners? Where ARE the political prisoners? Where is the secret police? Where are the Killing Fields?

It takes highly personal, irreproducible and (quite frankly) ridiculous definitions of 'good' and 'evil' to think of the Bush 43 Administration as anything except somewhere between 'mediocre' and 'pretty good' as leadership of the free world.

The whole argument comes down to this: are the definitions of 'good' and 'evil' subjective or objective? Those who hold the subjective POV think that Bush is EVIL to a greater or lesser extent. Those who hold that those terms have objective meanings believe that Saddam was Evil and what we are doing in the total GWOT is somewhere between 'appropriate for the world's only superpower' and 'righteousness personified'.

There really is no middle ground as far as I can see. The terms are either objective or subjective. From this fundamental epistomology, all political and social POV's will flow.

7:23 PM  

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