Often when I am perusing various news sources and blogs for items to post and comment upon I will find interesting and pertinent stories posted by online magazines or blogs that, on the whole, do NOT reflect the values I defend and uphold. Yet these sources do often have articles that are neither badly spun nor inaccurate. Should we only accept news items from sources where we agree with the editorial voice of that source? To do so can limit almost to extinction sources of information on some subjects.
Just as the bad behaviour of Mr. McCarthy in the 50’s damaged the voice of Anti-Communism and delayed the recognition of the extent of infiltration if the only voices that speak are not heard due to their known biases.
What do you do when a lot of the stories you are interested in have not been picked up by mainstream media due to their controversial nature? Worldnet Daily is a good example. While a conservative Christian news source they have a number of interesting stories and perspectives. But they also have a strong undercurrent of jingoistic partisanship. Do not expect to see any articles about Obama that Rush Limbaugh would disagree with. But outside of their editorials their reporting tends to be just that, reporting. They simply focus on things the rest of the media ignores. Such as the persecution of Christians that is on the upswing around the Muslim world.
To me the language of the story has a lot to do with how credible I make it out to be. Obviously partisan language will make me reject an otherwise pertinent story. This blog takes no sides in politics beyond preserving the basics of our Western way of life. Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and equal treatment under the law for everyone.
With all that said I would like to speak about some of the very active and important blogs out there. There are many, from the moderate to the rabidly Rightist. Not all have been successful, not all deserve to be. Some do. The two I would like to chiefly address are Jihad Watch and Atlas Shrugs. Two that 90% DO but when they don’t it makes my teeth ache.
For a while now I have eagerly followed Robert Spencer’s work. I have for the most part found him to avoid the rabid partisanship we see all over the political spectrum from the Left to the Right. But then with the taking of office of Pres. Obama his tone changed.
Where I see certain actions and words by the administration as being crafted to send a message in terms the RECEIVER of that message I can’t understand why people like Robert Spencer seem to see nothing but dhimmitude. This, to me, is why Amadinijad got so uppity. He understood that Obama was telling him that we would talk but only when IRAN stepped up to the plate properly. What could the Dinner Jacket say to his people then? The Iranian people are not fools. There is a strong undercurrent of modernity festering under the mullah’s hands. They know that the West has legitimate issues with Human right etc. What is the “great Leader” to do? Bluff bigger! Make the IRANIAN conditions for talks so unreasonable as to render them impossible to attain. Obama backed him into a a corner with an unagressive gesture! Now it is IRAN that seem to the world to be the one that will not co-operate.
What bugs me is that great voices like Spencer can’t see that he is playing the same divide to win treason game that he and his friends have accused the Left of playing.
Yes Obama had a Muslim of questionable associations speak at his inauguration but remember this; Obama was not just making a show for Americans, he was making a show for the world. The Muslim he chose to PRAY was a woman! I ask MR. Spencer for one moment to think about how that played to the PEOPLE in Saudi Arabia, in Sudan, in Pakistan. We have seen the Wafa Sultans, Tarek Fatehs. They do exist and there are a lot more that do not speak. There are hearts and minds to be won behind the propaganda curtains.
Yes, I too worry that the Leftists will come out from under their rock and delay further the proper response of the West to our times. But I have been heartened often by the moderate, considered way Obama is moving forward piece by piece. I like a lot of what I have seen and haven’t seen a lot that I can’t stand. I do not subscribe to the Ann Coulter/Rush Limbaugh school of logic that demands that any statement or action by an “opponent” be dissected in the most partisan and negative manner possible.
Lets be frank here, hard-core partisan politics is a sign of mental illness no matter what color you are in the political rainbow. To live life as though one basic way of looking at every problem would solve ALL problems is just crazy. You might as well teach that all problems of geometry, spherical or plane must be solved with…algebra!
Any ideology, especially in the Western world, that can on one hand support a multi-party constitution while on the other hand they spend most of their time trying to give one party a total lock on all exercise of power.
Leaders on the Left and the Right pay lip service to the idea of Democracy but if you judge them by their actions they seem to want nothing more than to disenfranchise all voices in opposition to theirs. This is not limited to Liberal PC fascism. The Righties are just as quick to clamp down with the thought police. They just call the offenses by a different name; unpatriotic, radical, treasonous.
I have to say I find it very hard to refer to or link to an article on Atlas Shrugs. The intelligent and witty style of expose is, in my opinion, massively diluted in effect by the associations Ms. Geller keeps as well as her tendency to veer into completely partisan fugue states. It does her credibility no good among the masses to have a prominent, intriguing link to a site selling a Young Earth Creationist book. To an undecided reader this link alone will likely cause anyone who checks it out to completely ignore anything she has to say about radical Islam as coming from a hopelessly biased source. Added to this the ragingly anti-Obama rhetoric and you have a wonderful site that seems to go out of it’s way to shoot itself in the foot. And all simply to gratify Ms. Geller’s emotional attachment to a single, distinct shade of the political spectrum.
Please do not get me wrong. I admire the energy with which she has pursued a worthy cause. I find her intelligent and witty in extreme and pretty cute to boot. I am sure if we sat down and had a chat we would get along famously as long as we avoided a few subjects. Who knows, in person she might be open to discussion on subjects where she seems unyielding online.
My point is that we are facing a rise of tidal proportions in totalitarian thought. Many diverse voices need to come together to get the message out. But those voices need to be ones that a large percentage of the population are willing to listen to. It would have done no one any good if one week before Pearl Harbor the most virulently racist journal in the nation had reported in detail the Japanese plans.
It becomes important for us to chose which things are most important to us. Which do we value more? Our personal grudges or the freedom to pursue those grudges in the future? The time has come for anyone who wishes to be HEARD in this fight to be aware of the face they present to the general public. This is not about preaching to the choir or gaining speaking fees. At least it is not supposed to be. That is one of the things the opposition accuses ALL anti-Radical Islam voices of being. Shills in it for the money. Tools of the JOOS.
IT is certainly true that you can get more attention faster if you cater to a partisan mindview. The choir always enjoys being preached to. They will pay you to do it. But the unconverted still swarm outside your sanctuary doors! And the barbarians are at the gate.
Robert Spencer has been castigated a number of times for the publishers he uses to get his books out. For the most part I have agreed with his view that it is what is in the books that matters not who publishes them. But lately I find myself changing my mind in regards to him personally. How many bestsellers is it now? To me it would be a major step toward a wider audience if he concisely sought out more mainstream houses for his new books. Surely the hardline conservative publishers are not paying him so much more that he is willing to let millions of moderates and liberals think he is a Ditto-head.
And if they do pay more, so what? Is he in it mainly for patriotic reasons or just to be surrounded by worshipping Republicans?
When blogging on such controversial subjects I feel it is important to make a serious effort to be as objective and moderate as possible. This means not carrying over political grudges and emotional strawmen into a realm that is important to all people everywhere.
I is no skin off my nose if the creators of Atlas Shrugs choose to make money from associating with crazy people (or worse, people who make money off of people they know are crazy) but she has to understand that it makes her look insincere in her desire to actually make a difference. As opposed to making a little difference and stroking her ego a lot. Or worse making a little difference and making a lot of money.
Are we asking ourselves when we write whether what we say reflects the common values or just OUR values? One of our greatest arguments, the source of all out moral highground is that we are promoting the universal values of the West. It does our cause no good to act in a way that subverts the very values we claim to support by speaking in Partisan ways on non-partisan issues.
“If we keep together we shall be safe, and when error is so apparent as to become visible to the majority, they will correct it.” –Thomas Jefferson to Thomas W. Maury, 1816. ME 18:291