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    "The slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts" ~ George Orwell





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    Wednesday, October 20, 2004

    Clifford May says what I've been thinking


    In fact what a lot of us conservatives have been thinking and saying. He makes a good concise case for a little more civility. I keep trying to remind myself that the left is comprised of good people who may or may not be right about any particular thing, but they are generally honest even when wrong. They may honestly think that Bush=Hitler but I honestly disagree. I am not a racist, a homophobe, a sexist, a liar, or a bigot and I frankly wouldn't support a man who was. I understand everyone has prejudices about certain things and incomplete information but when they state their opinion, even if they are in charge of the country and end up acting on their opinion, that doesn't allow a presumption of dishonesty.

    Sometimes, people do lie. If there is proof of a lie by the president, or anyone at all really, like a DNA stained dress or something, bring it on. Liars should get caught and have consequences for lying. If it is merely proof that the person was incorrect, then assert that. But stop confusing one with the other, please. It is hurting America just as bad as you think Crossfire does. When someone says something that isn't true, that does NOT automatically make it a lie. Even if you think that the thing *is* a lie, you had better collect your DNA first because otherwise you end up washing out all the valid things you might have to say. Read the whole thing, but this is the gist of it:

    What's more, those on the right could say that Senator Kerry is lying when he says that Gen. Eric Shinseki was fired (he wasn't), that he says he hasn't changed his position on Iraq (of course he has), and that he has a plan to eliminate U.S. dependence on foreign oil (no one does).

    But, for the most part, those on the Right have refrained from such language.

    I'd like to take this opportunity to propose to Scheer and my other friends on the left that they consider opening their minds to the possibility that those who disagree with them have come to their views honestly, that they see the world differently, that they have made alternative judgments based on sincere — if flawed, by the lights of the Left — interpretations of reality.

    It is good and proper for Left and Right to ague about facts and analysis and the policies they suggest. But we can't do that if one side is calling the other side "Liars!" all the time.


    This includes Bush and Kerry, me and you. We're *all* Americans. The Bush campaign sent out an e-mail asking for Republicans to go out and try to get 2 people to vote for Bush on Nov.2. There's nothing wrong with that, and it isn't wrong to try to influence people with your opinion. But maybe it's more important for our side to go out and find two Kerry voters and shake their hand and thank them for being an American. Things are deeply personal to them as much as me and while some of them are clearly over the top(see post below) they are acting on what they think is right. Fair enough, and so am I. Some people will see what Cliff is suggesting as just another cynical ploy, like they see everything I feel is genuine about Bush. But the tension is high and we need to get back to disagreeing intellectually rather than reflexively. That's all I'm saying.

    Play rough, but play fair. Back off as soon as you think someone's getting hurt. Keep laughing, and keep smiling. Respect the truth, and allow for different interpretations of truth. Call anyone you want a buffoon chimpanzee if you think they are one. Make a good joke, and I'll laugh. Jon Stewart is a tool, and he doesn't even know it, if you want to know what I think. But he isn't lying. And neither is Bush, unless you have clear proof. He *might* still be lying sure. And Kerry too. And me, and you.


    posted by M@ at 7:16 PM   0 comments links to this post

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