Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Anti-Inflammatory Political Post

Facebook Status Update, November 4, 11:32pm
Kristina is ready to do the work of uniting with those who were disappointed with tonight's results.

Except for my quasi-passive posts in the few days leading up to the election, I have refrained from saying anything overtly political on my blog. I obviously have my views, but after seeing the venom with which people take up the discussion on too many occasions (notably, the flaming that took place on Project Procrastination's comment board), my desire for peace and harmony prevailed.

Additionally, I know there are those who read my blog who disagree with me politically and it is ultimately more important to me to emphasize our common ground (this is still something resembling a tri blog, after all) than to engage in discourses of fear, anger, and division.

The exchange below showed me that we can do this, and signals to me the dawn of a new political climate -- not simply of policy, but a whole new paradigm of relating to one another that I hope will become the norm rather than the exception.


M said...

I think progress is borne from disagreement - the encouragement of both sides to take perspective, and hopefully learn from each other.

But I think this process is immediately halted when the communication breaks down with insults and intimidation.

And you're right - this is what happened over at the Project. It got heated, ugly and uncomfortable. In fact, this entire election did - but I also understand that people were really emotional this year.

As I was writing this comment jsut now, I looked over at your sidebar and saw, "Training is the opposite of hoping." Similarly, I think that "doing" is the opposite of hoping - that it's not enough to shower an individual with accolades, cast a vote, and then step out of the process. These conversation must continue, the questions need to continue to asked, we need to expect more of those we entrust with power. You linked example did just that - it was a respectful discussion of two very different points of view.

Thus, it is my hope that people continue to engage each other in a respectful manner, in a forum in which each voice is heard without insult or intimidation.

And by hope, it means that I too hold myself responsible for action.

ECrunnergirl said...

"And the world will live as one...." it can come true. We, as a country, elected a hero the other night and now there is hope for the future.

Thank you gutsy girl for posting your political views..... finally we can say hope over fear!! Let a new future begin!!!!

KrissyGo! said...


I totally agree with you about conflict and disagreement being a necessary part of progress. I also agree that insults and intimidation do not count as "disagreement" and ultimately shut down the process. I think the prevailing political climate encouraged people to conflate the two. If one starts with the premise that those who hold different views are somehow mentally or morally deficient, how can we expect civil discourse to ever take place? To be sure, I don't consider unity to be equivalent with agreement, rather it is a willingness to simply show up to the same table ready to listen. And I am willing to do my part to contribute to a deliberative democracy in which people make an earnest attempt to understand a variety of perspectives no matter how bewildering they seem through our own lenses.

To be clear, this post was not a criticism of you. In your trademark sassiness (which is part of your charm, after all) you posted spirited "rants" that presented an argument, with evidence. I think you opened the door for discussion on your blog. What was unfortunate was the way some (though certainly not all) took it up, choosing the shortcut of merely insulting or belittling the other side. For my part, I chose to disengage because the rest of my day (grad school, teaching, living in a swing state) carries its own ugliness on a daily basis that purposely seeking out hostility and dismissiveness in what little time I had left for blogging was just not an option.

I read your "aftermath" post, and like you, I think that reshaping the political climate -- the manner in which we relate to each other on contentious topics -- can only REALLY change if we each do our part to engage first and foremost, and then do so with respect and patience.