"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Welcoming Respectful Political Dialogue

This is a quote from the About Blue Jersey page:

Blue Jersey (www.bluejersey.net) is a blog about New Jersey politics, written by over a dozen New Jersey residents. While we all have different political views and opinions, we generally consider ourselves to be progressives. However, we welcome guests of all political views, as long as they engage in respectful dialog.
Now read Xpatriated Texan’s post “NEWS FLASH: "Blue Jersey" Unfair to Republicans”. In his extremely nasty post, the Xpat, takes after a Blue Jersey diarist, wilson40, for supposedly being a Republican. We’ve read the examples Xpat links to and are hard pressed to detect a conservative or Republican bent to wilson40’s posts or comments. Some of the comments cited by Xpat must be unavailable to unregistered users, because several links led to nothing. So if Wilson40 wrote something “Republican” we were unable to view it.

The target of Xpat’s derision and wrath was certainly respectful in all his writings, at least all we were able to view. As far as we can tell wilson40 must be guilty of writing opinions counter to Xpat’s and perhaps other Blue Jersey bloggers. Xpat’s post is totally disrespectful of wilson40 and distorts much of what the person actually wrote. Here’s a snip from Xpat’s post:

Our troll of the week is from the Asshat Trolls of Greater New Jersey. They are an odious tribe that tend to marry cousins at an alarming rate and ocassionally [sic] brag about being their own grandfather. Ask an Asshat Troll his/her favorite food, and you'll probably hear something like "Boogers" or "Earwax". I can't keep the site's PG-13 rating if I tell you the others in the top 5. Say hello to "wilson40".
Xpat's post goes downhill from there. We bring this post to your attention, not because we agree with wilson40’s politics, because we have no idea what those might be, but to point out the level of discourse encouraged and promoted on the Blue Jersey blog. Keep in mind the Xpat, Thurman Hart, is an adjunt Political Science Professor at Montclair State University, New Jersey City University and College of Staten Island. It certainly makes you wonder how “welcoming” he is of dissenting political views in his classrooms. It’s clear Blue Jersey will not tolerate opposing views. Xpat ends his post with this:

Traditional internet wisdom is that if you "feed the troll" by giving it attention that you will encourage it. Maybe, but this type of asshattery is just too funny to let it slip by. I actually hope wilson40 continues to write stupid things that are obviously from someone who doesn't have a Progressive bone in their body.
To ignore your base level of discourse Xpat is to leave the impression your fellow citizens find your style of disagreement convincing or within the bounds of “respectful dialog”. Here’s a News Flash for you, they don’t. Wilson40 is a person and not an “it”. It’s sad you’re unable to acknowledge another’s humanity, simply because you disagree with their opinion. Perhaps you have lived in a “progressive” echo chamber for so long you believe you can without someone calling you on your hypocrisy.

Wilson40, if you’re a Democrat we hope we didn’t give the Blue Jersey bloggers something else to hold against you. If you’re a Republican, you might want to rethink your position on using taxpayer funds for mega public employee salaries, especially for Rutgers football coaches. Regardless of your political leanings you’re always welcome to post your opinions here.




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