Wednesday, November 21, 2007

BlogRush and the Political Right

Ever since changing our BlogRush category from "entertainment" to "politics" (reflecting DeRamos.org's current subject matter), I've been seeing a bunch of links to right-wing political blogs. At first I wondered where all the left-wing blogs were, and while I still wonder about their representation in the BlogRush network, I'm a bit grateful for the opportunity to read about the opinions of the other side - conservatives.

I instantly discounted several right-wing (and also left-wing!) blogs that rely on ad hominem attacks and cliche demonization...without any noticeable sense of humor or hint of satire. Mudslinging rarely moves the debate forward, and for every accusation of "communist" there's always an equally valid retort of "fascist" (and vice versa). What gets done? Ain't nothin' gets done!

(Here at DeRamos.org, we try - but often fail - at balance. But at least we try: For every semi-serious jingo, fundie, and jingo-fundie insult used, there's a humorous pinko - a more loaded word - remark too. Sometimes.)

I have also discounted the blogs that advocate the suppression of dissenters (along the lines of: the soldiers fight for our freedom so ungrateful protesters should move to France - very oxymoronic) and/or those who advocate a precisely uniform American way of life (along the lines of: California is a socialist state - very uninformed and alarmist). On that note, if conservatives advocate state's rights, then why should they fear the "blue state" way of life versus the "red state" way of life? Does that mean all states should live like red states? If so, who's going to do that? How are they going to get rid of dissenters? Do they advocate the Federal government legislating lifestyle? What happened to state's rights, then?

With that said, there are several conservative bloggers - neo-, paleo-, or otherwise - with very cogent arguments for their perspective. Unfortunately, I often don't agree with the premises and assumptions upon which those arguments are based. They are often based on stereotypes of the opposition (see above), a hatred of hippies, a slippery slope argument of a quiet communist revolution, a fear of American dhimmitude, and straw man arguments to prove their point.

So maybe...we should get all the assumptions, presumptions, and stereotypes that are otherwise unseen but affect our perspective and ideology nonetheless, and put them all out in the open. We should debate and clearly define those building blocks and their meaning before getting to the complex issues that plague the day. It'll likely turn out that I'll agree with the opposition on a few issues and vice versa, if clear premises and understood assumptions are used in a debate. Otherwise we'll have all sides disagreeing to the point of violence and each side not quite understanding where the others are coming from..other than the "fact" that the other sides are stupid and/or evil.

Yes, yes - this entry probably also contains a straw man argument or two, and while I should have added links to examples in the blogosphere, (1) I am lazy to retrace my steps from my browser's cache and (2) I want you to stick around for a while! Selfish of me, I know, but if you want to leave, the Blogrush widget to the right might have an example of a right-wing blog that I've been writing about.

Cheers.

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