Sunday, April 19, 2009

Visiting with the Neighbors at C4P

Recently there has been considerable dialogue between some of the followers of Mudflats and Celtic Diva with commentors and bloggers at the site Conservatives for (oops - make that 4) Palin. The discussion was initially prompted by mutual agreement on the virtues of the First Amendment and the rights and privileges of anonymity. It wasn't long before the battles renewed, with occasional acknowledgments of a good point or an appreciation of respectful exchanges. This was the second time there has been a brief ceasefire to salute our common right of anonymous free speech. The first time was when the Mudflats writer was 'outed' against her will. At C4P I joined the foray for a while and did gain some significant insight.

Right after the election, I was sure the best way to proceed positively was to find ways to bridge the differences between all of us. I even put up another blog site just to serve the purpose of collecting stories about how we would accomplish such a lofty goal. There is still a link to it here in the side bar - I named it Visions Beyond Divisions - well, it has sat there, lonely and unvisited ever since. Actually, I think two or three of my closest friends might have looked at it. Other than that it has been deserted. And why? Perhaps we thrive better on conflict and perhaps conflict is what will ultimately bring us together to work things out. It has always been a miss-perception that attaining peace is a neat and tidy process. As people our thoughts and processes are messy, and making peace is messy, too. As events develop and we are forced to see where our opponents were either more correct than we could have imagined or falling off the edge of reality, maybe we can all touch base again, visiting from time to time and see how our perceptions may have changed.

Personally, though I don't support much of what Sarah Palin does, I cringe at the thought of her many supporters suffering disappointment. She represents important values that her followers don't see elsewhere. I am not saying that those values aren't represented elsewhere, I am saying that she is the person whom they identify with. It is always discouraging to feel that you are not represented in government. Many of us understand that all to well and have suffered that discouragement for the eight years before the last election. But our hopes will be tempered by reality as well. We will still have to work hard for what we believe in.

As far as our discussions through blogs, comments and participatory media goes, dialogue via these channels is a still quite the new thing, I expect we will be working the bugs out for some time to come. We can do great good and great harm, perhaps even at the same time if we are not careful. I hope that in the end, we can support each other through our disappointments and cling to the truth, that we are all in this together, whether we agree or not. (Except, perhaps, for Texas, which I have heard recently, may have other ideas. Remember the Alamo!)

So here is a shout out to all my friends at Mudflats, to Celtic Diva, to Shannon Moore and to all the folks at Conservatives4Palin. May we have our wonderful and messy peace some day, and good luck in the battle!


DrChill said...

Just back from C4P.
My usual blog home is Mudflats.

My primary complaint is that people there would rather identify you as a spammer-nonAlaskan or something else to dismiss everything you say.

A few have engaged in real debate, but most are unfamiliar with what a valid healthy argument is.

The vibe there is like kids taking sides in an impromptu playoff.

Amy Jones said...

Dr. Chill - You may be right, but I think it is just hard to find the people to have a real debate with in comments sections- it is difficult to achieve the real flow of communication and it is a bit disjointed, to say the least. It is a poor excuse for real debate and conversation. Of course, we are also saved from the impulse to punch somebody in the nose, so that is a plus!

DrChill said...

My latest theory is that people who congregate at C4P are people loyalists. Some are loyal to institutions like fire dept police military, others to ideals, others to people.

So the main argument there is you're just a ___ hater, troll, lefty non- Alaskan etc...

As if their assessment of you personally is the main thing.
You disagreeing with them means there's something wrong with you personally.
okay that's my $.02

the problem child said...

Dr. Chill certainly has a valid point about 'loyalist' tendencies. I think we all tend to latch onto things/ people that appear to honour the things we hold dear, and we are awfully reluctant to admit that they may in fact be pandering to us.