Following the tradition of talented Newsvine writers, I will repost a comment made on my seed "Fox News Primes Itself for a Shift" and without further corrupting that thread, elucidate my thoughts here:
I'm going to take a step back for a moment and observe what's going on here in this thread.
First of all, whoa. I seeded the article earlyish this morning and at 6pm, now that I return to my laptop, I see that we're approaching nearly a hundred comments already. Thank you all for the comments and / or votes; but I see that I am as much to blame here for fueling the fire.
Yes, I am a liberal - a relatively outdated label that probably doesn't mean the same thing to you as it does to me or to the person sitting next to you - which is why I am growing so tired of the compulsion to accept and defend every liberal view as part of a package deal, views that I may or may not share. I am tired of being asked to defend Big Government, communism, and every mistake Obama makes when I argue a totally unrelated issue from a standpoint that reminds someone of a liberal. Yes, I watch MSNBC to stroke my prejudices - I'm not proud of it - but I am tired of being asked to defend my "people," simply put, because I don't take responsibility for them.
I recognize the crucial fact: that I'm tired because I'm making myself tired. And so, in my tirade against partisan bickering, I invite more partisan bickering.
While I do regard Fox News to be laughable at best, I laugh mostly because I enjoy the company of those who laugh with me. That doesn't mean I find Republicans or conservatives to be "laughable at best" - well, sometimes I do, but that's another matter for another thread. Still, some of my most satisfying moments in my month-long adventure on Newsvine involved substantial disagreement between people who kept their cool, and knew where they stood in the stance they chose to take.
We can argue left v. right to no end. Surely, we will. I had hoped to bring something more to the table than that; and failed.
Many jumped on my last two words - specifically the word 'failed' - perhaps because that was the only word some of them read or, perhaps, related to.
Others emailed me, thanking me for my honesty in the post. Still others called me a smart ass. Maybe I am or maybe I am; but my intention was not and is not to defend my thoughts, especially not here, safely tucked away from the aggression of the thread that I created.
Instead, I want to invoke Barack Obama's 'post-partisan' philosophy that challenges us all to walk two steps ahead of the fruitless divisiveness and distraction that pit Americans against Americans; a philosophy for which some believe he was elected president. On the Inauguration day for which so many worked so hard, that philosophy is seeping into our discourse so deeply that it has become cliche - which is so far so good; I believe we are all the better for that.
My 'failure,' therefore, lies in seeding a thread that masked and damaged the spirit of this new feeling. In so doing, I actively encouraged destructive debate in which Left bitterly fought against Right in such a way that blinds us to individual thought and consideration; unintentionally, I incited arguments out of people that fueled the partisan rivalry that is so pointedly irrelevant to the spirit of today. I did not fail in that fight, because I knew that I never wanted to join.
I realize now that I will never and can never laugh at the sincerity of human belief, only at the silliness and disutility of the labels that mean nothing anymore, old-hat name brands we unfortunately fight so hard to defend; as though such labels speak for us, have ever meaningfully spoken for us, and which we still summon to speak on our behalf, to do the dirty work for us, rendering important exchange with one another... dirty...
As though the respective ideologies of Left and Right we unwittingly inherit have ever done us any justice.
And so I say, not in my name.
Happy Inauguration Day, whomever you are, whatever you believe.
I challenge you all to be proud of our country.