|A thank you to Democratic Underground, and a plea.
Last edited Sat Aug 17, 2013, 07:56 PM USA/ET - Edit history (1)
In 2002 I had just turned 18 and was an economic conservative. I was raised in an economically conservative household, which contributed to much of my beliefs, but a lot of it was my own naivety and ignorance at the time. I remember thinking how smart I was because I gathered my news from a wide variety of sources. What a joke, since most of those sources were conservative. (Well, that won't happen here!!) I remember thinking how "open box" I was because I read Drudge Report. Hahaha.. oh Lord. (And now you read TruthOut, RawStory, and KOS...)
One thing I did like doing was visiting Democratic Underground. Not because I liked you guys, no. I hated you guys. Every time something bad happened to Democrats I remember rushing on here to read and feel smug at the gnashing of teeth. (Heh...)
But somewhere along the line some of the things I was reading here started to sink in. Cracks started forming and grew stronger. (No, that was the pot.)
I think what contributed most to those cracks was the respect for history, facts, and statistics of this community. (AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!) While other conservatives in my social circles conveniently forgot the promises of the Bush Tax Cuts (higher wages, more employment, and lower deficits) I did not, because you guys reminded me. (So now you're happy with increased taxes, lower wages, part time employment, and super high deficits!! Got ya!) While others forgot about Social Security privatization(Which would have been voluntary and limited...) and what it would have meant in the wake of the sub-prime mortgage collapse, you didn't let me forget. While others bought into the media bubble depiction of the Individual Mandate as a liberal idea, you reminded me of its multiple-decade history among the right. Your commitment to facts, statistics, (Remember, TruthIsAll got banned...) and history gave me a clear view of how tax cuts for the wealthy motivated behaviors among business owners and CEO's that were contrary to the economic prosperity and economic mobility of this country.
For all of that and so much more, including being awakened to many social issues, I thank you. (Isn't he soooo cute!!!)
There's a problem, though. While the Democratic Underground of those early years was not perfect, and it certainly had its fair share of posters with more enthusiasm than reason, it focused on and celebrated the factual, history-conscious, and reasonable debates. That is not what I see celebrated today.
Seemingly every day I come on DU now, the Greatest threads are singularly focused on various cliques engaged in passive aggressive bickering. Everyone seems to be either a Paulite, Obama-bot, Pony Chaser, etc, etc. I wish had a kept a list over the last couple of years, because it didn't even remotely start with the NSA issue.
I don't know how we can fix this, but I want to leave you with a thought that deeply disturbs me:
Had this been the Democratic Underground I had found when I was a young conservative. I might still be a conservative today.
That scares the shit out of me, and it should scare the shit out of you, too.