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So. It's been a looooooooooong hot summer here. The cat on the hot tin roof is dancing a jig with all the complexities of all the issues hitting its paws like the cinders of fireworks.

From NSA revelations to the Syria issue, and with the SCOTUS ruling on the Voting Rights act, and the travesties of Republican governors, and WalMart bullshit, and Trayvon, and guns, and, and, and, and, and. You get the idea.

Through this all, this place has WAILED--- in good ways and bad. But If I were to apply a heart monitor to this site, I would see it bleeping along, healthy and strong. Follow me beneath the famous fold of so many names, if you care to join a stubborn optimist.

It cannot be denied that there has been ugliness here lately, and not a small amount of it. I have absolutely zip, zero, nada, interest in attributing that to any person, group, clique, whatever. I'll leave that up to many here who are interested in approaching this from that angle.

What I want to talk about is the issue of powerful DYNAMICS and how this very close and yet divided community clanks its way down the tracks, day after day, no matter the dire warnings in diaries and comments that we are close to our demise, that we are divided beyond repair.

I submit we are not close to our demise, but are rather doing exactly what we should be doing, if far from perfectly. I do not mean this in defense of bad behavior, and again, I'll defer to the many other diaries and comments regarding all the rules of this site and all the endless disagreements about the interpretations of such---and good luck with that.

Ultimately, you can only speak for yourself. And so I need to be direct and clear that this is just one woman's opinion. But what I find here is this simmering, vibrating, noisy, head butting, outrageous, endearing, somewhat addictive community of those of us who for wherever we disagree, are one in a big way.

In this way: We want to talk about politics. We want to talk about policy. We care. We read. We link. We argue. We insult each other and support each other in this weird dance. And then we return the next day, or the next week, to do it all over again.

So maybe that's the definition of crazy people. Or, maybe it's the raucous, loud and often uncomfortable definition of those who dare to give voice. I do and don't understand the fear of disagreement here, but it's irrelevant as it is what it is and will be.

But I look to the world outside this site, every day, and in my business I get around. Plenty. And I have a large and multi layered social group of everything from dear friends to neighbors, to more casual acquaintances. What I find is that most aren't talking about any of this. Smart people, good people, educated people, caring people---they ain't talking about it. Not the NSA, not Syria, not the SCOTUS and their right wing decisions, not the cabal of treacherous republican governors, not climate change, not, not, not, not.  

Which is not to say they aren't thinking about it or reading about it, or forming opinions on it. But they aren't talking about it freely at family gatherings, or neighborhood BBQs, or business cocktail hours, or, or, or, or.

For me, a news and political junky, I about burst with the news every day, and would have no where to burst if it weren't for the Daily Kos. As imperfect as that experience can be, as much as we might disagree and as unpleasantly, at least I know that NO ONE will look at me cross eyed because I want to talk about things I think really matter. And I've been around the internet too, and I find this place and the format for discussion here, most answers to me on many levels that would take a whole other diary to elucidate.

Politics. I think we all lose sight of what a dirty word that is outside our little nest here. I think we forget it's about as popular as religion as topical conversation in most quarters. I think maybe we forget or don't acknowledge that we cannot and do not speak as freely anywhere as we do here. And oh yeah, that can and does result in multiple showdowns at the OK, or not so OK, corral.

But here it is not about silence on any subject. It is not about polite avoidance. It is all about the debate, anyone willing to throw their hat in the ring becomes a part of it. You can step in where it matters most to you, and step out when you don't know how you feel, or tire of the fight, or just have something in your life more pressing at the moment.

And even when you step out for a bit for whatever reason, but maybe because your head is whirling and you can't come to the nice neat and clean conclusions others here have, you can still read and read and read here. You can withhold comment and listen, and there is much to listen to here, if you have some patience for separating the wheat from the chaff.

All in all, sure I've got my complaints, but I figure that ground is pretty firmly covered here. I've been here over 5 years, and I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly. And yet still I come back, and still this site survives.

Originally posted to StellaRay on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:57 PM PDT.

Also republished by Welcome New Users and SFKossacks.

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