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May 16, 2006

The Warden Urges Calm

As a side note to this whole debate, I'd like to make an appeal to both sides to moderate the tone taken when debating your fellow conservatives/libertarians.

I'm disheartened to see how we've been treating each other over the past 24 hours or so. On the one side, we've got people calling Bush childish names like El Presidente and Dear Leader, kicking their feet and generally behaving like the 2 year olds over at Daily Kos.

On the other hand, we've got some party-fisters engaging in ad hominem attacks rather than seeking to persuade the fence sitters. In many cases, these individuals are engaging in the same behavior that they accuse the other side of - putting immediate self-gratification before pragmatism.

It is important to realize that we are all generally on the same side pf things despite our differences on this one issue. And some of us, believe it or not, are open to persuasion on the matter. Even though I've expressed frustration with Bush's position, I know that I am open to different viewpoints. Keep this in mind when you engage fellow posters. You aren't dealing with a bunch of deranged lefties who can't be reasoned with. Insults only alienate the very people you should be seeking to convince.

Just last night I reviewed Senator DeWine's voting record during his last term. I've never liked the guy and was considering punishing him this coming November. Well, after calmly considering the facts, I was forced to admit that he has supported the overwhelming majority of the positions that I also support.

We need to knock off the angry rhetoric and consider some solutions here. My personal opinion is that the GOP must hear our dissatisfaction and feel pressured to pass an immigration reform bill that has some teeth. How we go about this is, of course, a matter of debate. But there's no reason we can't be civil in doing so.

BTW, how many of you guys who have spent time berating others on the internet actually taken the time to contact your congressmen? A few phone calls and letters is infinitely more productive than arguing in the comment section of a blog. Make yourselves heard.

I'm not sure if the threads got very uncivil here -- at least when I was skimming, things seemed heated but not impolite; nothing at all like what happened at Polipundit -- but its always good to be mindful of tone.

Mostly I'm quoting this for the last paragraph. The Internet is useful as a safety valve for annoyance or anger, letting people blow off steam, but it has no real effect other than the therapeutic.

Alas, a pointed comment directed at spongeworthy is unlikely to change the trajectory of American politics.

Congressmen definitely do heed letters, emails, and phone calls. They don't actually read them, of course, but they do take notice of the basic oppose/support on an issue-- particularly, of course, if you're from their district (or are capable of pretending you are). They're cowards, and that means they can be bullied around.

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posted by Ace at 01:07 PM

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