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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Can Blogging Be A Bad Thing For Our Nation?

This post may ramble a bit as I have a line of thought that hasn't fully matured, but I thought I would go ahead and post about it.

I said something a few days ago about not paying much attention to the Iowa Caucus. It doesn't really mean much except for giving the winners a little more media attention. I did find it interesting that once again the polls were wrong. The polls said there was a three way tie in each party, but it didn't finish that way. There were clear winners on both sides. I will say once again that I have had the opinion for almost a decade that Hillary wasn't electable, but I am a bit surprised that her campaign is now falling behind the upstart Obama.

Which leads me to the point of this post. The democrats have called for change for seven years now. They have refused to govern responsibly since they wont the mid term elections, and have accomplished absolutely nothing that they said was on their agenda. In fact, they made many promises that were just smoke from the beginning. One of those was to be the Congress that worked more than any other. Not that I want them in session more, but you get the point.

The cry for change has consumed so many that they are willing to vote for anything different. I think this is wholly irresponsible. Obama appears to be the new change and Oprah can claim some credit for this phenomena. Have we really reached the point where people listen more to a daytime drama queen than to their own minds?

We know that people vote in a reactionary fashion. They vote based on their personal circumstances more than anything. Appearances and soundbites are far ore important than real stories and analytical introspective.

The internet has created tens of thousands of people like you and me. We sit here day after day and give our opinions. We comment to each other in an attempt to exchange ideas and provide support for those ideas. What about those who don't blog, but actually seek information from blogs? Are they swayed by opinions and partial facts? Are they impacted by the analysis given here?

I think this may be more true than we think. I have looked at many blogs over the last couple of days following Iowa, and on the lib blogs there is a tendency to pose Governor Huckabee as the "extreme right wing" candidate, when that is not the truth. I have heard the word "evangelical" more time the past two days than in the last ten years. How many people visit blogs to find out about him? If they do, they are getting bad information. The conservatives I know, myself included, don't have a decent candidate in this race. I m not excited about any of my choices.

That doesn't matter for the 80% that will support their party. The 20% that are middle of the road voters and can go either way for a candidate are what is up for grabs. I am a little concerned that the information available about Obama and Huckabee will lead them astray. Can anyone tell me a single issue that Obama supported in the Illinois legislature? Can anyone tell me what his position is on anything outside the ignorant statements that we need to dialogue with tyrants?

How about Huckabee? Can anyone tell me what he think about North Korea? Syria? Russia selling nuclear equipment to Iran? It seems as if he may not the the sharpest tack in the box about current events.

This push for change may lead people to look outside the MSM for thoughts and ideas. Do bloggers do a disservice to our nation by the amateur analysis that we provide? We need intelligent voters who can decipher the sound bites and media spin and decide who should lead this nation. The rush for change may have a place, but I am not sure the internet should be its roots.

17 Posts From Readers:


A timely post, to be sure, but it is still too early to declare a winner so I will confine my comments to statements of what I consider to be good leadership. Actually, I am not sure what constitutes a good leader but the experience of the past 7 years says a lot about what constitutes a less than good leader. Let me share a few impressions:

When the next POTUS takes the oath of office, he/she should honor the oath of office to the extent that civil liberties and the separation of powers as defined in the Constitution do mean something to voters, regardless of political affiliation. I would want a new leader to restore the legal checks and balances of our system and not continue the cycle of abuses that have compromised our democratic principles.

I respect humility more than arrogance and swagger. My personal credo is this: A person cannot assimilate new knowledge or act with wisdom with an arrogant attitude. With respect to presidents of the past, we respected those who acted with humility (and those who were willing to admit mistakes), even when we did not necessarily agree with their policies.

Partisanship, like arrogance, is not good leadership. It disrespects and disenfranchises the loyal opposition who comprise almost half the populace. Shortly after 9/11, the President enjoyed a 90+% approval rating from liberals and conservatives alike. This support was just as quickly squandered away when Carl Rove inferred that Democrats would give “psychotherapy to terrorists.” This kind of political belligerence betrayed a fundamental trust at a critical time. Since then, our country has become deeply divided and polarized by extremist political behavior. Is anyone here tired of the name calling, derision, and scorn of recent years? I am.

The concepts of “winner-take-all” and “to-the-victor-belong-the-spoils” are divisive and destructive leading to legislative paralysis. I would like to see a return to bipartisanship and cooperation for the unity of the country.

Ideology interferes with good decision-making (please do not confuse ideology with values and principles; these are not the same). We have seen far too many examples of ideology resulting in unsound policy and mismanagement across a wide spectrum of issues.

Truth and honesty. Need I say more?

I could write volumes on this topic but shall leave these few meager remarks as is. I invite your comments.

Shaw Kenawe said...

“They have refused to govern responsibly since they wont the mid term elections, and have accomplished absolutely nothing that they said was on their agenda.”--Robert

Excuse me, but Congress legislates, and the Executive governs.

“Obama appears to be the new change and Oprah can claim some credit for this phenomena. Have we really reached the point where people listen more to a daytime drama queen than to their own minds?”--Robert

Senator Obama won in a state with less than 3% Black people, and he won the overwhelming support of white women—older women, and a huge percentage of young people. You believe all of these white women and young people responded to Oprah? I, for example, am a white woman. I have never seen the Oprah Winfrey Show. Never. And yet I am enthused and electrified by Senator Obama. Why? Because politics is really the art of the possible and it is about perception. Senator Obama has connected with young, old, white, black, Democrats, Republicans and Independents. He is a gifted orator, has an easy charm, has the ability to think on his feet, can actually speak in his native language, has a dazzling smile and is a decent human being. He was admitted into Harvard Law School by his own merit, not because of his father’s or any family influence. He earned it by his own intellect. He was elected to head the Harvard Law Review, one of the most prestigious assignments in academia. His specialty is Constitutional Law, how wonderful it would be to have someone in the White House who actually knows the Constitution and live up to his oath of office, which is "to protect and defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

How does that qualify him as president? It qualifies him as much as any other candidate. We’ve had men in the Executive branch with oodles of “experience” and as a result, we’re mired in a hideous war, we spy on our own citizens, we’ve lost prestige around the world, and we are known as America The Torturer. Proud, aren’t we?

If you truly are curious about what Senator Obama has accomplished and what he stands for go here:

Abraham Lincoln served 4 terms in the Illinois state legislature and only one term in the US House of Representatives and did not sponsor any earth-moving legislation. Doris Kearns Goodwin's book "Team of Rivals" explains how Lincoln brought together people who would speak truth to power, a team made up of people interested in the good of the Union, not the political party.

I believe strongly that a person’s intellect, knowledge of history and the ability to surround himself/herself with smart men and women who will respect the Constitution is more important than experience. Intelligence, Integrity and Decency are what makes a great person—president or janitor.

Obob said...

I have conjured up three different drafts trying to commment here. But I keep going deeper than I want. Our country needs poltical conflict. It is in our blood. From the patriots versus the loyalists, anti-federalists v. federalists, north v. south, gold standard, unions, the red scare ... you get the point. There are days we will have peace and harmony on the Hill. But it not just our elected officials. It is the talking heads. It is the bloggers. It is the return to taking a punch and walking away knowing you'll get your lick back one day in a debate. This is in the deeply woven fabric of our beloved country.
And don't be afraid to agree with another someone of another poltical ideology, they take a crap like you and I.

Obob said...

"We need intelligent voters who can decipher the sound bites and media spin and decide who should lead this nation."
We do need them. Not the politician. Like a good trial lawyer, they want either sheep to lead or lambs to slaughter.
I don't think we do a disservice. My gut (and it did grow this Christmas season) tells me the bloggers we run into out here like to talk to friends. If you don't start.
If your frinds can't handle your politics, serve them another beer. Irritate people. Annoy them. Challenge them. We are an element of the new democratic process out here.
But of all things, check your sources, just because it is on the Internet does not mean it is the word of God. Neal Boortz says it right:
Don't believe anything you read on this web page, or, for that matter, anything you hear on The Neal Boortz Show, unless it is consistent with what you already know to be true, or unless you have taken the time to research the matter to prove its accuracy to your satisfaction. This is known as "doing your homework."


obob, here is some advice for the bloodshot-eyed bloggist:

-- 42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot

-- To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research

-- If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried

-- A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking

Obob said...

eco, that is damn well funny and brutally honest


Thanks obab. One more for the road:

Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

rockync said...

I'm one of those people who don't have their own blog but I travel the bloggerhood on a regular basis, checking in to see is on others' minds.
I'm one of the middle of the road people who will not affiliate with any party. I like to look at the candidates and the research their records, especially on issues that are important to me.
I think you are correct, many people will vote party lines just because. Many will be influenced by a celebrity or by other nonessential factors, but that's the way it has always been.
Is the internet or blogging a bad to form political decisions? Not necessarily.
Although I do pay attention to what everyone has to say and weigh their arguments carefully, my final act is to research the candidates myself.
You asked where the two frontrunners stand and I can tell you the answer to your question is just a mouse click away.
If you go to the bottom middle of the page you will see a heading of "Issues".
This site has tabs at the top "About Mike" and "Issues"
And to your last observation: The internet has replaced most all forms of media as peoples' source for news and information. Some of it is good, solid info; some of it is crap. The internet makes obtaining information quick and convenient and it is here to stay. I think one way responsible bloggers can have a positive impact is to provide links to sites of truthful, and, where possible, unbiased information. In the end, it is up to each of us to weed through all the data and form our own opinion.

Shaw Kenawe said...

BTW: When I too quickly read the heading to you post,I thought it said "Cat Blogging Be a Bad Thing For Our Nation?"

And I was prepared to defend Cat Blogging to the ends of the earth.


Shaw Kenawe said...

"...the heading to YOUR post..."

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Grrrrrrr....who blogs about cats? Geeesh, all they do is lie there until they want something. That would be a boring blog.

ROFL. That is funny. I will return later to comment on comments, but I have intentionally been reading and not responding. Wanted some food for thought and try and finish the thought in my mind. For some reason I just can't articulate it like it runs in my head.


Robert, I can handle any derision and scorn you can hurl at me but, please, please, please, don't pick on my cat. Purr ...


Robert: all they do is lie there until they want something

Like the kids, the dog, and every politician at election time.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Thanks for all of the great, well thought out comments.

I think that we have a responsibility to blog responsibly. In my case, my blog is a staement of my opinion and that is right on the very top. I don't try, nor intend to be anyone's new source. I do, however, attempt to provide solid information when presenting such.

Bloggers have not had a huge impact on an election - yet. It is a great place for pundits, and there are those blogs which draw tens of thousands of loyal readers. Drudge, for example, has his niche. Mine is more of a journal than a publication.

For my loyal readers and for those whose blogs I loyally visit, I think we have a good balance of opinion and fact. When I need to verify a fact I can do so, and I am open to having my own words corrected as has happened in the past.

Keep doing what you are doing!

Anonymous said...

Great post Robert! I'm chiming in a bit late but it's better than never. Well, I guess I should let you decided that. LOL

I think most people realize that blogging is composed of many things; opinions, idea's, beliefs, exaggerations, emotions, you get the idea. But when I think of a blog post the last thing that enters my mind is fact. I would hope that anyone reasonably intelligent would be able to distinguish them.

But anyone that would let Oprah Winfrey and Chuck Norris decide how they vote for their next president would probably do the same reading blogs. Is that the responsibility of the blogger, I think not. Like you said above, if someone proves me wrong with facts, I will admit it and fix it. I am not arrogant enough to think that everything I write is 100% accurate as much as I'd like too.

Before you vote, it should be your obligation to read up on the different canidates. For example....Fred Thomson. I like him, and I agreed with his policies on the presidency. With him flailing like he is, I've taken it upon myself to look into the other canidates closer.

I don't agree with Rudy's view on abortion.

I don't like McCain's policy on immigration.

Mitt Romney, I just don't like. Arrogance maybe? I honesly couldn't tell you.

Would I vote over the lines? No! It's not because they are a "democrat" but it's because of the core values. When you find me a democrat that is pro-life, against illegal amnesty, and pro-war, then and only then will I ever cross over.

Anonymous said...

I should correct that comment....after reading it, it just sounded wrong!

"But when I think of a blog post the last thing that enters my mind is fact."

What I meant by that is when I read a blog, I read it, digest the information, and then decide on the accuracy of it. I don't simply take it as a fact. Too many other things are mixed in and to take the blog just by reading what is written, would be irresponsible and foolish. It's getting late and I'm rambling, but I hope you figured out the point I was trying to make. I think I should take after you. Put it together on paper before my hands just start typing away. My mind has been so scattered lately, I;ll be lucky if when you are done reading this, you don't think I'm a total goof. Okay.....end of ramble! Have a great night!

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Your comments are welcome here, rambling or not! I think it was just fine this time.

I don't like anyone's stance on anything. This is the first time when I will be forced not to choose the lesser of two evils (candidates), but the lesser of two evils (issues) for each candidate.

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