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!