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Friday, February 10, 2006

It gets old. It really does.

I like to stay informed about contemporary issues, on local, state, federal, and global levels alike. Like many of the Internet generation, I find that the traditional media just doesn’t cut it most times. The days of Brinkley, Chancellor, and Cronkite are no more. Thus enters the information backbone of the 21st century, the weblog.

Yet, blogs just aren’t what they used to be (What? But they’ve only been around for a few years? How could that be?)  For as long as I’ve known what RSS was, I’ve read the gamut of commentary, from Atrios and Kos to LGF and Powerline. I like to know what people think on both sides of an issue. What I don’t like is what the fringe of the blogosphere have become.

I’m sure everyone has their preference, and lots of people like the echo chamber. I’m not one of them. What I like is a set of rational, well-conceived ideas. I might not agree with them, but if you can articulate it, and do so without belittling people in the process, then I’m all ears. I also tend to view a positive agenda more…er, positively, than a negative one.

That leads me to my miniscule thesis statement. It really, really gets old. I don’t consider myself a partisan. In fact, I never voted for  Bush or Clinton. The reason is that they never really represented my views (although I guess from a policy perspective that Dubya has been more representative than anyone since Reagan). Additionally, I never really felt the irrational hatred for them that others did, and still do.

Since 2000, we’ve witnessed the relentless pursuit of Dubya by the left. We’ve also watched the same left neglect their responsibility of formulating alternative policies to those of the right. If they have, I just haven’t seen them because the Bush-hatred that spews forth effectively blots it out.

On any given day, I can read conservative sites and get thoughtful articulation of ideas, and provocative criticism of wrongheadedness, often of their own (the Harriet Miers fiasco comes to mind). On the same day, I get “CheneyHalliBushCo is evil” or, on a good day, “Repugs suck, and here’s why”. Is that supposed to appeal to the general voter? Well, it doesn’t.

So here’s a suggestion. The Democratic party proclaims itself to be the party of the people. Let’s see evidence of that. Give me some policy positions, and articulate to me why they are sound positions. Try not to cite the alleged theft of the 2000 Presidential election, illegal wiretapping, Abu Ghraib, or abortion rights as the basis of those positions. Try instead to convey to me what is right about where you stand.

Afterwards, the Democrats should give the electorate a candidate that can actually take a stance instead of advocating multiple or incoherent ones. If the party and its leaders are convincing enough, maybe there will be enough voters like me who will hop on the right bandwagon.

One thing is certain though. The average voter just isn’t going to consistently endorse a candidate whose main thesis is “I’m not Republican.” It just doesn’t work, and it renders the opposition party impotent. And in a two party system, that makes us all losers.


.: posted by Dave 12:43 PM

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