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Member since: Fri Jul 13, 2007, 10:35 AM
Number of posts: 1,308

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Rachel had it Right, now DU is getting it wrong.

It is hard for me to accept what is happening AGAIN at DU.

I joined DU in 2007 in the lead up to the 2008 election. It was a heady time and I had some great conversations on here. I stayed pretty active until the 2010 election when things went Batshit crazy on here. The Progressive purists took control of the boards and in many ways, took control of the election. They demanded party purity or they wouldn't vote, or they would vote Green or vote Libertarian if needed. They shook their fists and lost the Congress. At the same time they ranted and raved about the Tea Party that was staring them back in the mirror.

In 2011, my son was one of the first dozen kids to Occupy Zuccoti square. I quickly followed in Portland. For months I was able to see some more amazing conversations and street education starting to happen between young people trying to figure out our economic and political system. I saw the DIY mentality grow and grow in the midst of discussions between backwoods do-it-yourselfer hippies, urban farmers, street crafters, libertarians, anarchists, University professors and even the occasional courageous conservative. It was in the conversations that the movement grew. It was a willingness to occupy a space and talk with anyone and everyone about the troubles facing the young people of America. During that time I didn't bother with discussion boards like DU, I was too busy talking in the streets and at other gatherings of live bodies.

So Obama won. So by a 2.7% margin we defeated the other guy. Through clever campaigning we managed to get 332 electoral votes to the other guy's 206. Why? Because the other guy was a complete douchebag surrounded by a sycophantic media and supported by a lot of money. Despite all of that we won. Celebrate, we earned it.

But now I see the same old tired intransigent purists starting to dominate the conversations again. Instead of taking an Occupy stance of listening, discussing, adjusting and learning, the hardcore issue oriented DUers are talking about "no compromise" "mandate" (which there wasn't BTW, no matter how much you deceive yourself), "jam it down their throats", etc. I look in the mirror here at DU and start to see DU Tea Party reflection all over again.

It is my belief that Rachel Maddow had it correct. Progress in our Democracy is dependent on the strength of BOTH Conservative and Liberal ideas. It is simple Hegelian dialectic: Thesis meets Antithesis and creates Synthesis. We must strongly present our best arguments, hear their best arguments, debate, compromise and then reach a new level. Progress. I am just as concerned about unchecked Liberal Future Dreams as I am about Conservative knuckle-dragging.

I refuse to give into the temptation to lump all of my fellow Americans who hold Conservative values with Ted Nugent, Mitt Romney and Pat Robertson. It is false.
I refuse to adopt the hateful tactics of RedState, Rush Limbaugh, Faux News and Newt Gingrich. Propaganda and name-calling are not Ideas. They are not the product they are the marketing.
I refuse to be an ideologue, frozen in my opinion, unable to risk thinking outside my box. I choose to grow through adversity, courage and love.
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