I’d like to think I am a tolerant man. I like Docudharma partly because of this toleration. There are few rules, and what rules there are are largely sensible. It’s not a single mission blog, like some others, and so there’s a great deal of freedom to explore what some people might consider the “wacky and crazy”.
One of the reasons I spend more time here as of now as opposed to anywhere else in terms of participating on the internet is that I find most or many ideas that aren’t palatable, at least tolerable, and that this benign toleration is preferable to constraining conversation and trying to create a community where topics that are “off-mission” are grounds for being banned from a site.
And, being a hermit, online community is important to me. One of the things that strikes me is if you think about it, most of us have people in our own lives who are dear friends and family members who hold views that we might consider crazed.
I once had an eminently accomplished and deeply analytical friend who thought that the Earth was 6,000 years old and that dinosaur fossils were placed in the earth to lure people to Satan.
I have a family member who is a conservative Christian, committed adultery, married the woman he committed adultery with and divorced his wife, and once told me that my being gay was an abomination because it was “selfish” and that I was denying all my manifest charms to a woman. Apparently there have never been any limits on a person with such a history judging others while refusing to look at the “plank in his own eye” to employ a Biblical phrase.
I had a friend who came over unannounced at all hours, and called me up all the time for help, and finally what precipitated the end of our friendship was his trying to introduce me to the joys of crystal meth.
And, as I have said more than once, I have one sibling, a dear brother, who remains dear to me, who thinks among other things that the problem with Democrats is that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are too darn liberal and thinks that gay people shouldn’t have certain civil rights because it would “cost the taxpayers money”.
So, yeah, I’d like to think I am a tolerant man. The reason for me pointing out the above examples is to posit that sometimes we will tolerate a lot more in terms of bug-eyed battiness from family and the people we care about and adore in person than some people do on blogs. And that is the reason, I believe, that Docudharma cultivates viewpoint toleration as a social good. I know, there are some who believe that Docudharma is a “nutty fringe” website. This, I believe is worth the price, because when you start shutting down discussion you start losing good conversation and good ideas and anything that might result from that.
What I feel most of us realize on Docudharma is that people are more than the sum of their words on a blog. It is the totality of their existence that matters, and further too many other blogs forget that, to the detriment of forming the communities that are going to be the backbone of the liberal movement.
There are on this site people who appear to believe that the Illuminati are real and that the biggest problem we have today is a shadow government that is about to take over the world. There are others who seem to believe that global warming is a hoax and that vaccines cause autism and that 9/11 was a conspiracy.
Honestly, I don’t care.
If you have some sort of theory that I consider to be lunatic fringeworthy, I am more than likely to simply ignore you when it comes to that topic. And I am under no illusions that I am any better, or that I might not have ideas that others would consider “crazy”. What goes around comes around, and when you get on the crazy train, everybody rides, right?
Having said all that, though, I’d like to talk about this. When you quote people or link to sources to advance your ideas, it might be a good idea to consider what the people you are linking to are really about. (h/t: Pam’s House Blend)
The following video was created by a writer for World Net Daily:
This is my point: Many people on the far right are not nice people. A legitimate essayist or commenter on Docudharma (although fringe) might even think they have some ideas in common with them, or even share with them ideas about black helicopters and shadow governments and so forth.
But when people use sources that espouse this kind of ugliness, they shouldn’t get upset if some people start getting ideas about them. There’s conspiracy theory and then there’s bigotry. And I linked to an earlier diary on Docudharma just so that no one can say it’s never been done before.
I have no problem having an association and a friendship with someone who thinks that Ron Paul is a libertarian visionary. To me Ron Paul is a bigot and a racist. You can disagree about that and like Ron Paul and still be my friend, though I might ignore your Paulism and ask that you not try to bring it up with me as a point for friendly discussion.
Similarly with the Teabaggers. There are lots of people on this site, while it is a largely liberal blog, who share some of the Teabaggers’ ideas and frustration with government.
Me, I will not forget who brung ’em to the dance. That’s all I’m saying.
And it’s ok with me if you believe in the illuminati and black helicopters as a person (not saying you do, of course). I might think you’re a little strange, or that your views in that way might not be in the best interest of whatever, but the totality of your contributions and what you have to say are more important to me. I can differentiate between what I consider an insane view and an insane person.
But I’m sorry, even i have limits. If you start quoting Stormfront or World Net Daily in support of your ideas, I cannot be so charitable. I just saw this, and remembered when one of our previous commenters went off the deep end, and thought I should show where certain “ideas” go.