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View Diary: Talk Me Down -- A New Service to the Kos Community (152 comments)

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  •  A note on labels: (1+ / 0-)
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    While I commend the spirit in which this effort is begun, the idealist/pragmatist label expresses a bias, which, considering the diarist is offering to mediate between sides, is a little disconcerting.

    Is there anything pragmatic, for example, about condoning torture? And drone attacks on civilians or on young men merely guessed to be possible militants are anything but pragmatic, considering the long term harm it does to national security.

    Many policies that some of us on the left object to are not at all pragmatic. Some "pragmatic, ideology free" policies are downright infused to the core with conservative ideology.

    And pragmatism often simply means convenient and easy, rather than truly practical. Just because a "solution" is easier to achieve politically doesn't mean that its effects are at all practical.

    Many supporters of the current administration are rather idealistic in their support, as if supporting an idealized version of the presidency rather than reality.

    Thus, with this bias already built in to efforts to mediate, the results are already questionable.

    I would go with critics/supporters, or dissenters/supporters rather than the values of idealist/pragmatist.

    What many of us will be watching for is the willingness to have tolerance of questions, criticism, and dissent. If that is relegated to the realm of impracticality, and not considered "positive" or "nice" then the effort will have failed before it begins.

    Criticism, even harsh criticism, can be "nice" in the intended goals. There is nothing "nicer" than trying to end unnecessary killing, torture, and violations of human rights.  

    Conversely, no matter how "positively" and "polite" a discussion of torture is framed, no matter how toned down the assertion is made, no matter how "civil", the fact is torture and human rights abuse is not nice, tolerant, or positive, and when people who raise the issue are coerced to do it in apologetic tones, something is very wrong indeed. Discussing such issues can seem to administration supporters as impolite, but that often is simply the reality of the situation. It will never seem to be "nice" when accusations of human rights abuse are being discussed.

    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

    by ZhenRen on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 04:46:30 PM PST

    •  What I am talking about (2+ / 0-)
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      2thanks, Wee Mama

      As a group, we are open to criticism. The reason why I framed that particular debate "Idealist/Pragmatist" is because I had been using "roxxer/suxxer" before but thought it was way too harsh and thought I may accidentally add fuel to the fire by framing it in that, to be quite honest, childish way.

      But I do understand your objection, next time I post about the topic I will employ your suggestion. I hadn't thought of dissenter/supporter. Perhaps it may remove some of my own (unintentional) bias.

      Specifically about torture: no its not nice, and its not pretty. Sometimes situations aren't. We are not diary police. Passionate situations often call for a little incivility from time to time. But, if you feel you have gotten caught up in the endless wars about people and not issues, about worrying about who hr'd whom for what reason and dragging crap up from 3 years ago when this one person hr'd someone because they said X, then we are here for you.

      Thats why I like this system so much. We aren't going to follow any one around. We are here to make suggestions and provide a private environment where people seeking help to get away from the personal drama, we are here to lend an ear and our suggestions/criticism. People seek us out, we wont be following from diary to diary making sure that everyone lives up to some impossible standard of "politeness".

      •  Roxxer/suxxer (2+ / 0-)
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        rexymeteorite, 2thanks

        personalizes the debate as if it is all about a person, namely, Obama.

        It's about policy... and despite the constant reminders many of us make of this, people keep reducing the debate to acceptance or rejection of a person. That's just way too limiting and constricting as a definition.

        It is rather one dimensional, simplistic, and really doesn't work. I agree it is childish.

        Idealist/pragmatist also frames the discussion in limited terms, and defines all debate in a singular, inaccurate context.

        Thanks for giving consideration to my thoughts.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 05:48:10 PM PST

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