Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Vitriol and the Left

I would like to extend my apologies to readers who have been subjected to the recent barrage of irresponsible rhetoric from some of my ideological opponents. Though I encourage participation from those who disagree with me, I did not intend for this blog to deteriorate into a mudslinging contest. That said, I believe it is of some value to observe the behavior and dissect the arguments of people who would have you believe that they are kind, caring, tolerant and smarter than you.


concrete katie said...

Denis, I like your Free Racine because there is an exchange of thinking going on.

However, blogs invite abuse. There seems to be no behavior rules (like a few years ago there were no behavior rules when emailing became a communication force).

It would be more pleasant I guess if, say, John Edwards did not have to delineate differences between himself and Madame Clinton, but he has to and he is stepping out more stridently because being Mr. Nice Guy isn't going to get the issues out there.

The thing about getting too personal in attacking someone else when out in the public is that it is a waste of time and we have real issues to face in this community, country, world.

Denis Navratil said...

Thank you ck. The anonymity available on the web is a contributing factor, but I have a theory on the leftist hatred that I have been experiencing lately. That theory is in a new post. Back to the anonymity thing. Its like when you are driving a car and someone cuts you off. I would be more inclined to extend a middle finger than I would if someone cut in front of me in line somewhere. I would probably say something to the line cutter but it would be less hostile than an extended middle finger.

Every society will have conflict. I worry about ours insofar as discussions where conflict exists can so quickly deteriorate into hostility. What is wrong with disagreement I wonder? Of course their should be disagreement and debate, provided their is a fair way to resolve these issues. Democracy coupled with protected rights is about the best way to address societal conflict that I am aware of.

Re your Edwards and Clinton example, I see no reason why Edwards shouldn't differentiate himself from Clinton, but he should do so in a responsible manner. I am not suggesting that he has done so irresponsibly, but certainly many candidates do exactly that, and it sometimes works. When citizens reward politicians who behave in an uncivil manner, as we so often do, we get what we deserve.

Thank you ck for your most civil contribution to FreeRacine.

Conscious Thought said...

Well since i'm really the only opposing view point on this blog, its probably a safe bet to say that you dedicated this post to me.

I understand your frustration when confronted with people who don't think like you. It can be a very intimidating, challenging experience.

But debating in nature isn't normally a warm, fuzzy environment conducive to making new friends.

Although i do like frequenting this blog, my observation is that it really isn't about debating opposing viewpoints, but embracing and encouraging like-minded individuals who always agree with you, and don't like the potential conflicts and confrontations that real debating tends to create.

When other "opposing" voices appear, your faithful followers tend to disappear and leave you standing alone to fight your own battle and your tone entirely changes, (a sign of the frustration).

Was it really irresponsible rhetoric as you say, for me to suggest that we perform due dilligence in examining ALL of our local education options for our children, including private schools? Was i irresponsible in suggesting that the RUSD broken system may not be broken because of the failings of a small portion of its students?

If anybody your post should be geared to its that Real Debate guy, now he's a raging lunatic who needs therapy!

Real Debate said...

Concious thought,

Debate me anytime anywhere.

I think you would find me quite a pleasant person and the lunatic you accuse me of being.

Please excuse me for having a popular blog and an opinion you find apprently offensive.

Please excuse me for calling your Governor a liar when he *gasp* lies.

Get serious.

Unfounded attacks like the one you just made against me are exactly what Mr Navratil is referring to.

Real Debate said...

typo, not the lunatic!

Quite funny though.

Seriously I'd welcome you at my site.

Denis Navratil said...

CTW, this post was not aimed at you specifically, unless you and anon are one and the same. Contrary to your statement, I am not frustrated by opposing points of view. Actually, I find them invigorating, especially if they are carefully considered and challenging. Name calling, derision etc... I do find frustrating because it is not a responsible manner in dealing with others. My tone can change CTW when I am being attacked. I have to admit I did not like the approach of the JT who more or less said that you have to be a greedy, uncaring capitalist if you don't share their vision, or when anon insinuated the same, coupled with accusations of godlessness. But all in all, I don't think it is my tone that sets people off but rather my beliefs. Additionally, I think if you review the exchanges in question, you will find that it is me that is trying to tone down the vitriol while others tend to be doing more of the escalating.

But it is interesting that you suggest that it is the questioning of private schools that I find irresponsible, while conveniently forgetting the "Lord Navratil", "your higness", "the king" stuff, as well as the entirely unfounded claim that I am a paid lobbyist for the Prairie School. Now those things are very much irresponsible, and I think you know that. Re the private school question, I have already answered it and am awaiting your reply should you wish to offer one.

Anonymous said...

Popular blog?

It is like a a Racine version of the extreme right wing radio abuser, from Milwaukee, Charlie Sykes!

You guys condescend with the likes of Sykes!

Anonymous said...

Godless is correct...

Anonymous said...

It amazes me that the mean spiritrd right acuses the so called 'left' of being vitriolic.

Now, that is a HOOT!

Can you say 'swift boated'?!

Anonymous said...

Vitriolic left, what a hoot!

Can you say Limbaugh, O'Riley, and right wing talk radio and tv?

Reality; please, lets have reality!

Denis Navratil said...

Anon 9:30, 9:35, 9:42, and 9:53, you are not exactly disproving my point.

Anonymous said...

The point is right wing arrogance...not 'so called' right wing vitriol.

What do you call the arrogance of the right?

Real Debate said...

Coward (anonymous)

Yes, popular blog. Over 500 readers a day right now.

For a local blog that is huge. Influential people read it and I have authors of varying opinions. In fact my blog is currently ranked as the 4th most influential blog in the state.

We welcome varying opinion.

What we do not welcome are people who hide behind a veil of anonymity who throw stones and sling accusations without an ounce proof to back up those accusations.

You point to successful conservative hosts and deride them as being something they are not.

There are plenty of left wingers on the radio waves; to listen to you one might assume there were none.

Blame yourself if no one listens to them.

Have you ever listened to Ed Schultz on WRJN? (I have) Three hours a day of hate and negativity. Who wants to listen to that? Liberals are at their core angry and they tend to look at things through a very narrow prism.

If you would like to be taken seriously I suggest you pick a name and stick to it.

The internet provides this false sense of security for people like you who would rather throw stones than be held accountable.

I can defend every position I take.

I ask hard questions.

I break my own news.

From what I can see all you do is hide like a coward and sling insults.

Frankly I'd be happy to engage you in a battle of wits, but I think you are outgunned and I prefer to fight my battles with people who at least have enough guts to stand by their opinions.

Anonymous said...

Fred, give me a break. You, obviously, have an inflated sense of who you are.

I, on the other hand, don't need to have my name spoken by folks so as to massage my ego.

Try to do a blue collar work job at a low wage for a living...then we could perhaps talk.

Real Debate said...

Been there done that, went to school, paid my own way, made something of myself, pay lots of taxes.

That little class warfare crap does not work with me.

Conscious Thought said...

What happenend to the "name calling isn't a responsible manner in dealing with others" talk Dennis was referring to in this blog?

..."you will find that it is me that is trying to tone down the vitriol while others tend to be doing more of the escalating..."

Is that really true Denis?

If so, would you think Real Debate's tone needs to be addressed in addition to anons?

Conscious Thought said...

oh yea, the "lord navratil" and "your highness" stuff was pretty funny (and fitting) i thought. You might need another layer of skin though Denis and don't take things so personal.

Just a word of advice, that new layer of skin i'm suggesting you to add, don't put any melanin in it, you'll start noticing that you'd be following yourself around in your own store!

Denis Navratil said...

CTW, I don't like personal attacks whether it the perpetrator is on the left or right. It is a weak form of argument, it is not helpful, and most importantly, it is not persuasive. But thus far I have only responded to people who are attacking me and I would prefer not to play the role of etiquette cop. If things get out of hand I may have to change that policy but I am hoping we can all learn to play well together.

Now, you suggest that I shouldn't take "lord Navratil" and "your highness" personally? Oh please, how else could one take it. That said, I can't say that it harms me. If I concerned myself with how anonymous bloggers thought of me, I would be a basket case by now.

And just how should I take your suggestion that I am a racist?