Wouldn’t you know it? Time is short tonight and yet it would take hours to be able to respond to everything that has been posted either to or about me since I was here last.
But I want my good friend EddyTeddyFreddy (if she has forgiven me for that silly elucidator business :p), and Zoe and Yosemite (there are actually three of you good people, Zoe, who have spoken up on my behalf) to know that I have seen and appreciate very much the things you’ve posted in my defense. If everyone here were as open-minded, forgiving, and live-and-let-live in their responses and attitudes toward those they don’t agree with, we would all get along much better and friendships would flourish rather than animosities. It’s ironic that the closest friends I’ve made on this board are liberals, but that’s the case.
One thing that puzzles me, though, is the number of people in this thread and on this board in general who seem to feel that by not giving in and admitting the correctness of their point of view and renouncing my own, that I am somehow being close-minded and rigid in sticking to my own.
It has never been my belief that in expressing my views to those who vehemently oppose them that I would bring those people around to my way of thinking. Similarly, it has never occurred to me until recently that the people I’m debating or arguing with think they should be able to bring me around to their point of view.
In my mind, we are all expressing our opinions and explaining why we feel the way we do about whatever issue is being discussed (barring accusations of asshattery, etc.) And I’ve found that to the degree this can be done civilly and respectfully, each side is more likely to at least see the other point of view for what it really happens to be rather than demonizing those on the other side and condemning them as stupid or evil, or by simply dismissing them out of hand.
It’s easy for some to call Bush a evil, lying, cunning, devious, child-killing asshole, and it’s easy for others who disagree with him to buy into it. When I describe my impression of what Bush is trying to do, and what I think he may have in mind in regard to some particular issue, and what his day-to-day struggles are like, I’m trying to show that this is a man who, rightly or wrongly, is doing the best he can to do what he thinks is right.
He is not perfect, but no one is. He does not have all the answers, he can’t predict the future, and he can’t foretell exactly what will occur given the ebb and flow of events in war any more than he can foretell on a day-to-day basis what the economy will do. He tries to set things in motion to acheive certain goals that he thinks are best for the country. He doesn’t (and can’t) micro manage things down to every little detail. Regarding whatever mistakes he may have made, I’m confident that Roosevelt made mistakes in WWII, Truman (or Eisenhower, I forget which :D) made mistakes regarding Korea, and Kennedy and Johnson made mistakes in Vietnam. Making mistakes is an inescapable part of the human condition. Lawyers make mistakes, doctors make mistakes, airline pilots make mistakes, and presidents make mistakes.
What I’m trying to do is show how I can still support very strongly the efforts of President Bush to protect this country and do what he thinks is right. It’s been suggested to me by one poster that people here need to know the conservative viewpoint and to understand how those of us on the right truly think about things, and I was flat-out asked by Coldfire to explain just how I could feel the way I do. (I never got a response from him, by the way, despite the fact I spent quite a bit of time and effort composing my response. But that’s okay, Coldie, I know you’re busy. )
But I digress. The point is, just like ETF said, things can be learned by those who read the things posted in these threads. Some will be influenced by the liberal point of view, some by the conservative. But I don’t expect to convert any of those who are adamantly opposed to my point of view, and they shouldn’t expect to convert me. This doesn’t mean we’re close-minded, it means the philosophical foundations of our beliefs don’t allow us to adopt the other way of thinking. For example, many people are just flat-out opposed to the death penalty and will offer all sorts of reasons why it’s a bad idea. If I were able to refute one, they’d come up with another. If I could refute that, they’d come up with another, etc. The points being debated are really just justifications for what the person already believes deep down inside, and that belief rarely changes just because someone else poses what they believe to be a valid argument as to why that belief is wrong. So just like with the upcoming election, the battle is for the minds of the undecided, and I’ve come to feel the conservative point of view is grievously underrepresented here, and that’s why I post to these threads.
Anyway, thank you ETF and Zoe (and Yosemite, if you should happen upon this post). I admire you all, and I always look forward to what you have to say.
And Zoe, is there some way we could communicate directly? I’d really like to hear about your recent trip to France.
Cheers to all,