Custom Search

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hey GOP, Stop Yelling and Debate Us for Real

Hello Papamoka Readers! I would like to discuss something close to my heart and this blog: the poor state of political communication or debate today. I'm mostly referring to what I see coming out of the Republicans, or the right, but I'll be fair and say that we all seem to be talking past each other these days. In my opinion, the traditional QUALITY of American political debate is in jeopardy. We all need to go back to school for a refresher.

The more society becomes interconnected by electronic networks the less we seem to understand each other, or at least LISTEN. I'm sure we've all noticed it. We all - both the right and the left - seem to be drifting apart. Where's the common ground we used to share? It's getting more and more difficult to be civil. What's the cause? Could it be the Internet? It may contribute to the quantity of today's debate, but is it possible that it detracts from the quality? That's a good question we should ask ourselves.

Take this blog for example. If you go back and read many of my posts you'll see that I go to great lengths to find facts and figures. I do a lot of homework before I write about an issue. Unfortunately most of the responses are what you might call incomplete. They're always personal, sometimes cruel, and most of the time illiterate. Instead of debating the issue they always seem to go after me. To this day, I have yet to enjoy a traditional point-by-point debate with the right. It's true. Go and look if you disagree. I dare you to find a decent debate. They usually just call me names.

It's as if we come from two different worlds, and speak two different languages. To be blunt, I've grown frustrated and lost faith in small blogs like mine as a place for actual debates. To be clear, I'm only speaking about getting responses, since I still like writing for people who just enjoy reading about political issues. I've gone back to real life, person-to person debates, usually at dinner parties, where I can really dig in. Those are fun too. Like so many of us here, I've begun to ignore the intellectual rot that has infected today's political dialog on the Internet. You know its many forms.

This blog is now simply an outlet, where I get to vent about politics to a few hundred people who stop by every now and then to read my rants and raves. I still love it when you debate, but you don't have to. I encourage healthy debate, and discourage unhealthy, stupid debate. Please, do your homework. READ! I'm speaking mostly to those on the right who seem to resist facts, while using their keyboards to vomit forth garbage that adds nothing to the debate. Their usual word fare is hardly worth the read, much less a response.

Anyway, back to the debate about political communication. Here's a great example of the way the right looks at the left today. It's a recent transcript from Rush Limbaugh:

RL: This is... it's about power, it's about control. These people genuinely look out over this country from their lofty perches. They don't like what they see. Otherwise...

Caller: So they can go somewhere else! Like, I don't understand, why do they have to stay here? Like, leave us alone!

RL: At this point, at this point Gretchen, I don't care about the why. They're not going to leave. They're trying to control it. At this point, the only thing is they must be stopped!

Caller: I agree...

RL: Within the confines of our Constitution, and the political arena of ideas, they must be stopped. I don't care why they see this country the way they see it. I don't care why a murderer does it. I don't care why a rapist does it. I don't care why this Muslim guy offed his wife's head. The NOW gang is out there saying 'oh, that's not domestic violence, that's just, uh, that's just...' what do they call it? 'Culturally honor killing. Or this woman was going to divorce him, that's against the law. That's his diversity.' I don't care, I don't care why anymore. If I figure it out, I'll be glad to tell you because it's interesting to know, but it doesn't matter in terms of defeating them.

It's so tiring. They're so tiring. I realize that Limbaugh is just trying to get ratings, and he's not a politician, but many Republicans admire him and consider him to be a solid representative of the right wing. It's still horrible! Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly and Beck are all out there calling us "socialists" and "communists" these days, and they won't allow for a real debate to counter their BS. The really dumb ones - on the radio - are even worse, calling us "fascists" and "baby killers." Unlike left wing radio, they never take OUR CALLS! They screen us out. They never welcome our best people on their TV shows! The system doesn't work!

I understand we all - on both sides of the aisle - get colorful at times, but things are getting out of hand. We deserve the right to counter their crap! I often get heated and passionate on this blog, but I'm always willing to debate my points - as long as you do it properly, POINT-BY-POINT! That's the only way to determine what side is right, and what side is LYING!

Our national conversation seems to be getting worse. The right is spending its air time calling us names. They oppose our positions without debate, and they do it while the country is FALLING APART from problems THEY CREATED! The Republicans and those on the right are being INCREDIBLY IRRESPONSIBLE in my opinion. Something needs to change, and FAST!

I have an idea! Our Democratic leaders need to challenge the Republicans to REAL POLITICAL DEBATES, like the ones held during the election, but BETTER! More PASSIONATE! The American people are worried about their future, and they would respond. If they're really feisty, the networks could sell advertising. The ratings would probably be good. Just like in school, let's put our best debaters up against their best debaters. Let's see who wins the day. We could even offer a prize. How about real power and the future of the nation.

That's today's great political challenge. Let's turn that FAT ELEPHANT around to face us, and have a series of real, honest American political debates. It may be the only way.

Michael Boh
Papamoka's Left Coast Contributor
from Our Rants & Raves Blog
AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Blogger B.J. said...

Michael, ignorance is a fertile ground for sowing fear and hate. You’ll get no debate from me on this post. I share your heartfelt sentiments.

Several years ago I was an active participant on’s “Great Goals” forum, where many people came together to discuss – intelligently – current issues. There were about 20 “freepers” ( – on there 24/7 - whose goal it was to disrupt legitimate discourse. I can still name all of them. They were sent there by Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, and they were like faithful lieutenants. They needed to get a life. Any time you posted, you were certain to be followed immediately with personal and vulgar attacks. One freeper, taking advantage of the unmoderated “free speech” forum, even posted about 100 pornographic photos, one right after the other, until we managed to contact founders Wes Boy and Joan Blades to have the photos removed.

These poor souls are not interested in intellectual debate. They are filled with fear and hate, and it’s a real travesty that they claim WE hate America.

In the end, unfortunately, they managed to do what they were sent there to do: shut down the forum.

Keep the faith, my friend. Sooner or later, truth always surfaces.


4:40 AM  
Blogger by Michael Boh said...

Thanks BJ - You always have a great perspective on these issues, and you offer good advice. :) MB

9:40 AM  
Blogger B.J. said...

Michael: I thought you might enjoy one of my favorite journalism quotes:

“Let truth and falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter.”

- John Milton in his great defense of a free press, “Aeropagitica.”

7:38 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home