First, it was the wingnut blogs that went the way of my virtual wastebasket.
Despite my best efforts to expose myself to the vitriol, the sexism, and the racism of the right in order to educate myself about the actual depths to which they sink, there came a point when I began to feel infected. The solution was to stop reading them while I still possessed the antibodies to defend my soul. It was a huge improvement in my life.
Yesterday, some very old, very politically progressive blogs on my list of subscriptions went the same route – for some of the same reasons.
The vitriolic tone that has lately permeated discussions of Clinton v. Obama between members of the progressive left has left me exhausted. Maybe bloggers just need to fill space. Maybe commenters need constant attention. But, really, the discourse has descended to snake-belly depths.
This is some of what I’ve read in the past week via my old Blogline subscriptions:
- Deciding NOT to vote is a legitimate choice
- Ralph Nader is the greatest living American hero
- Rich, white guys are supporting Obama because they care more about equality for blacks than what’s best for the country
- Obama is more Republican than Democrat (no similar comparison for Clinton, unfortunately)
- LGBTs and feminists are being “thrown under the bus” by Obama’s campaign
Let’s talk, shall we? I’m open to discussing most of the above points, but it’s the tenor of the discourse that has me down. It’s angry. It’s profane. It’s aggressive name-calling.
It’s making me depressed during an election year in which our choices have never looked better or more inspiring.
So, I’ve jettisoned the blogs in which the political discussion has degenerated to lecturing, navel-gazing, obscene depths. I will continue to seek out news and research the issues on my own.
I’ve been around long enough to know that this may be my last opportunity to be enthused and inspired by a presidential race. I’m not going to let this short moment slip away.
For the next nine months of my life, I’m focusing on the big picture – the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our relationship with the international community, future appointments to the Supreme Court and getting the most electable Democratic candidate installed in the Oval Office.
That’s not allowing myself and my progressive ideals to be thrown under anybody’s bus. That’s just what needs to be done. Right here. Right now.