Sunday, October 12, 2008

Agree to Disagree?

As this photo indicates (alas, that's just a cardboard cut-out, and not the real Obama), I have made no secret of my political sympathies. It honestly never felt like I made a "decision" to be open about my politics here. Being a liberal is a gigantic part of who I am -- there's no way I could have a personal blog and leave that out. In writing about specifics here lately, I knew I ran the risk of alienating some readers who are not liberal, and of course of just boring other readers who are not interested in politics. But I never for a second considered abstaining from giving my opinion. And I never, never, never "agreed to disagree."

In a recent comment, a reader informed me she is going to stop reading my blog because I express my views in a way that is distasteful to her. (And please do not contact this blogger with any negative comments; please.) She also said, "Whatever happened to agreeing to disagree?" So I want to be clear: I never agreed to that! I reserve my right to disagree! I believe that the conservative policies of the Republican party are destroying the country that I love, and I am not okay with it, and I won't shut up about it. I'm not forcing my opinion on anyone. I don't capture people and talk at them. Even when I phone-bank, I don't try to talk Republicans out of their beliefs.

This reader has every right to stop reading me. If a blog I visited came out as Republican, I might stop reading it too. What I wouldn't do is leave a comment that in any way questions their right to post their opinion in their own personal forum. I'm sure this is not the only reader I've lost; she's just the first one to tell me. And of course I'm sorry to lose any reader, but this election is so important to me, and it's so much of what I think about and talk about in my "real life" that to pretend like it's not going on would just be weird.

So, what's up with this "agreeing to disagree" thing? I think it's basically just a fear of conflict, an unwillingness to engage in debate. In my experience, the people who want to "agree to disagree" are often the people who can't back up their position with facts or solid arguments. And, frustrating as it is, that is their right. Just as it is my right to assert my opinions. Especially here in my own little space. When it comes to religion, I can agree to disagree -- as long as the "other side" is not trying to force their beliefs on me or anyone else or make them into law. But when it comes to the erosion of civil liberties, the mauling of the Constitution, the overturning of environmental protection laws, the unlawful invasion of other countries, and so many other things. . . I assert that I DISAGREE. I do not think all opinions have equal merit. The handful of climate scientists in the world who deny global warming do not balance out the thousands who say it is fact. And so it is with other issues. Just because there are two sides to an argument, doesn't mean they are equally valid.

I am a Democrat, I am a liberal. I believe the path the Republicans are leading us down is not only wrong but potentially calamitous. It's a weird thing, having an invisible readership in a place like a blog. I don't want to insult readers. Despite what this blogger says in her comment, I think I've been pretty careful only to criticize a) party leadership, and b) the really hateful supporters, like the crowds at recent rallies, and the people I myself have spoken to while phone-banking who have been powerfully negative and racist. Any other Republicans who find themselves here, I may not agree with your politics, but it has not been my intention to be personally insulting. To be perfectly honest, I DO feel disdain for people who believe Obama is a terrorist. And I feel contempt for senators who vote against health benefits for children, and for small-town mayors who make women pay for their own rape kits, and for presidents who lie us into wars. But I don't feel contempt for the ordinary people who are civil to me on the phone, whatever their party, and I don't feel disdain for ordinary Americans exercising their rights in a respectful way, no matter who they vote for. Nor do I "agree to disagree."

So that's what I have to say about that. Moving on. In other "news," look at the cute bracelet I bought yesterday at the beach:
Jim's mom has been in town, and yesterday we went out to our favorite stretch of the coast, from Manzanita down to Tillamook, and it was a gorgeous day, blue sky, not much wind. lovely lovely. Smooch:
See that aqua jacket? Jim found it for me at a thrift store the other day; doesn't it set off my hair perfectly? He's such a good shopper. He even found some stray pieces of Lemon Federalist stoneware at the antique store in Wheeler yesterday:
Lemon Federalist are our "everyday" dishes -- we got our set at another antique store, maybe five years ago, and we're missing some pieces, like the teapot. But thanks to Jim's black belt in shopping, not anymore!

And of course, no trip to the coast is complete without a stop at the Tillamook Creamery for full-fat icecream!
It may be full-fat, but at least the portions are really dainty:
As if that wasn't bad enough, today we stopped at Cupcake Jones. Ohhh. I need to get back to the gym! My schedule has been so disrupted lately. Woe is me. . .

36 comments:

Angelo said...

Kudos for wearing your political colours on your sleeve. Nobody can be shy about getting political with the Sarah Palin Factor looming over America. But remember that, in that wake of Palin, folksy superficiality is the newfound toy of the party you’re asking to come up with “facts or solid arguments”. So, um, good luck on that one.

If it’s any consolation, I’m going to start reading your blog because you express your views in a way that is distasteful. In this climate and before an election, political opinion that isn’t strident isn’t political and is barely even opinion. People should think and speak for themselves and do it loudly – democracy suffers if they don’t.

Lidia said...

I totally agree that you have every right to express your political views and engage in debate on your blog. That is your choice.

Some people care more about their own passionate views and convictions than they do about other people. This is obvious when they mock and ridicule other people's beliefs. It is possible to disagree, to engage in debate, to let the whole world know exactly what your stance is, and to do so without being offensive. I read blog posts written by ultra-liberals and ultra-conservatives. For me, those who are most effective in communicating their beliefs are those who write with humility.

Calandria said...

oops! That was me, Calandria. Not Lidia who wrote the above comment. Also, I love your banner.

She sure is strange! said...

Laini, I LOVE this entire post!!! Pink hair, yellow dishes and all! Oh, and especially the first several paragraphs, lol. I'm not a writer and have a very hard expressing my deep thoughts regarding politics. Suffice to say, you rock at it!! Thanks!

Molly

Anonymous said...

Fatty! This is a wonderful post, and as I told you before, I have oodles more respect for you than for bloggers with big readerships who are more afraid to rock the boat and "offend" others because it might hurt their businesses/sales, etc... there is so much at stake that it is hard for me to understand how female bloggers don't feel an urgency and responsibility to encourage others to vote, to fight for their reproductive rights with the Supreme Court's future direction at stake once again...I think it takes great courage and integrity to speak up even more when you know that yes, it could affect sales or whatever, but to do the right thing anyway and use your voice at a time when this country is being so very corrupted from within. when i see you next you have to use my raspberry cyclops eyeball truffles for Miriam and Sammy and Josh- and be sure to pass along that turquoise blazer asap!
Thinnnychoochoo

Wyman said...

"Go ahead punk, make my day." As a lifetime Republican, who has grown to call himself a "Nixon Republican", which troubles even some diehard Republicans, I am use to you Leftwing Liberal Democrats spouting off at the mouth. Now, understand, I am joking here with my insults.

I think you make both some valid points and you miss some valid points. It must have been another of your blogposts I had to stop myself from commenting on, because I love a good-natured political fight.

Personally, I think Joe Lieberman would have made a better Vice Presidential pick for McCain, but I have heard that was not going to be possible. That would have been a way of reaching out to Democrats for McCain; even if not all the Liberals among Democrats. Obama, to me, looks like a man picked by the Kennedy wing of the Party, with the goal of stopping Hillary Clinton, which he did.

Those are minor thoughts, but let me pose two important questions to you, which we can look at with some hindsight: 1.) Would you have invaded Afghanistan after they refused to give up Osama Bin Laden and his leadership crew after 9/11? 2.) What would you have done in connection with Saddam Hussein and Iraq? It is known he was bribing Europeans in the food for oil program and not living up to many of the agreements he had signed after being forced out of Kuwait. So, the question is asked with some of those things in mind.

Your thoughtful answers will tell me a bit about how rational your liberal views are. If it helps, I voted for Bush twice; your Democrat nominees appeared to be jokes to me, although had Lieberman won the top spot, I would have seriously considered him. :-) Bush has some obvious flaws to put it mildly. His brother Jeb, I live in Florida where Jeb was Governor, would make a much better President and seems quite rational, like his Daddy. ha ha ha Maybe too rational to ever run for President.

I would prefer to neither vote for McCain, nor Obama, but that does not seem to be a "voting" option. Both have flaws. I will vote McCain, then pray for whoever wins. Now, before I have to bite my tongue, I will stop my comments.

"Come on, keep making my day. I'm use to being in the Minority Party."

Anonymous said...

You voted for Bush a second time? after he had the nerve to say about Bin Laden, "I don't know where he is...I don't spend much time thinking about him?" You voted for a President who was cutting birthday cake with McCain in Arizona as Katrina made landfall in New Orleans and who couldn't be bothered enough to be informed for well over a day that thousands of Americans were going through one of the biggest natural catastrophes of the last fifty years within our country's borders? And as for being a "Kennedy liberal," Ted Kennedy has been one of the biggest advocates for making sure every American has the healthcare that they deserve. If your mother or child or sibling suddenly loses their job or can't pay their medical bills as they suffer from cancer, is that really acceptable to you? And what if you have a medical condition and lose your job? You very likely won't qualify for individual insurance and if McCain has his way, he would further deregulate the insurance industry and anyone with pre-existing medical conditions will be completely screwed. To be a Republican today means to condone having your President and Vice-President lie to the American public to get us into a war. It means to vote based on your pocketbook rather than on doing the right thing even if yes, it means you might have to pay and give a little more. I think that we learn a lot about Presidents and our political parties seeing what our ex-Presidents do after they leave office. You have people like Reagan or Bush II who do very, very little humanitarian work, and then you have Dems like Carter who devote their lives to causes like Habitat for Humanity. I'm not saying that all Republicans are soulless, but lets face the facts- it means you are willing to vote in judges that will likely not support abortion even in the case of rape and incest. It means that you don't see health care as a right. It means that you are willing to do close to nothing about global warming. I could go on but I suppose there is no point as it ultimately just boils down to a fundamental difference in what we value and what we see as our responsibilities to our fellow human beings.
Alexandra

da rev said...

i love you sister!
may the sky ALWAYS be the color of your jacket!
and DANG! does jim shop for other ladies? note to self: lock jim and robco in a room to discuss mechanics of black belt shopping.

dissertation goes out tomorrow. i can't even fathom a cogent respond to your post (on the political issue). hell! i can't even brush my own teeth these days. :D

smooches to you and superfunk.

Karen said...

Directed to one of the fiesty comments above:

Many of those things are up for debate. Agree to disagree..yes. You say yes to abortion, I say no. I see it as murder, because I define life as the moment of conception. Many would have a different definition of life. Mine is based upon the bible
I don't believe in global warming, again, under biblical basis which tells how the world will end, and global warming is not the cause. Others don't share my views. I don't agree with universal healthcare, because, as both a Canadian and American citizen I have seen how it has hurt the health care of Canada, and lowered the standards, delaying surgeries that would be performed within a month in the US, to a year in Canada. To top it off I have a Grandfather battling colon cancer in Canada, and with it a battle with poor healthcare. And what is most upsetting about it is that he has a healthcare providor that he worked to afford all of his life, but it has been reduced to such a dismal state because healthcare is open up to those who were irresponsible and did not prepare for their own futures. So to insinuate that the individual not in favor of universal health care is not considering those suffering from cancer, or other is ridiculous.

Now...yes we do have different values, and different senses of responsibility to fellow human beings. It isn't that one doesn't have a sense of value, or responsibility, only that what our values are based upon are entirely different.

tone almhjell said...

I absolutely agree with you on this, Laini. This election is important. You have every right to post your opinions and observations here. You also have the right to voice them many other places (most, in fact), but especially here. You share so much when it comes to writing and your stories, it's only natural that you get to share this, too. Don't let anyone tell you what to put in your blog.

As for the notion that you are too sharp and nasty in your comments: forget it. You are not. You don't stand around howling terrorrist or murderer, and you don't lie. You call it like you see it (and carefully, too), and that is how it should be.

And personally, I'm so glad that you do. You need to talk about these things, you need to get upset and angry and excited, and then you need to go out and vote. If by sharing your views here, you might get more people to actually vote, that is wonderful.

Besides, I've decided that if things turn out the way we hope, I'm making a gingerbread White House for Christmas.

tone almhjell said...

Oh, and the jacket is gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

You are so brave, and these are times that require it now more than ever. Silence is no longer an option against all the gobblygook.
Your thoughtful discourse has helped me to find my voice as well.
topangamaria

Gwenda said...

Oh, Laini, I hope you don't get attacked by nutballs who Must Have Their Say now. What I don't get is why conservatives often seem so threatened when liberals express their beliefs. I'm completely with you--the stakes are too high to sit on the fence and exchange pleasantries. Go Obama!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being so honest in your blogs, it's very refreshing. I've enjoyed reading your posts on the election- being in Australia it's hard to get a feel for what people are actually thinking, as opposed to the reports from political analysts and comedians.

It's quite sad to think that people will be voting purely on race/gender rather than party policy. I wish you all well!

Victoria

Heather said...

Good for you Laini for holding your ground! I'm sorry if you lose readership over it, but then these are probably people you would not hang out with in real life since your political views are so different.

Not having been raised with ANY kind of political education or leaning (due to religious reasons), I find myself indifferent to a lot of it. But it is hard to not notice what has been going on in the US. And I would venture to say, based on what I have learned from my hubby, that the Conservatives (our version of Republican) have not done much better to run OUR country. Evidently, our PM is a Bush-lover.

Sorry you've been getting icky comments. This IS, after all, YOUR space. No one is being forced to come here. It's not even necessary to announce one's departure, is it? Just leave. 'K-thanx-bye!

Stephanie Perkins said...

You are such a brave, awesome chica & I have such respect for you. Kudos to you for being true to yourself and what you belive.

And what cute pictures! LOVE the jacket. Love it, love it, love it. And the dishes and the ice cream and your scarf...

Anonymous said...

I think you are wonderful.

Here is a Message sent to me this A.M. Isn't it great.
>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Palin's future, according to Garrison Keillor
> > *GARRISON KEILLOR
> > SYNDICATED COLUMNIST
> >
> > We are a stalwart and stouthearted people, and never more so than in
> > hard times. People weep in the dark and arise in the morning and go
> to
> > work. The waves crash on your nest egg and a chunk is swept away and
> you
> > put your salami sandwich in the brown bag and get on the bus. In
> Philly,
> > a woman earns $10.30/hour to care for a man brought down by cystic
> > fibrosis. She bathes and dresses him in the morning, brings him
> meals,
> > puts him to bed at night. It's hard work lifting him and she has
> > suffered a painful hernia that, because she can't afford health
> > insurance, she can't get fixed, but she still goes to work because
> he'd
> > be helpless without her. There are a lot of people like her. I know
> > because I'm related to some of them.
> >
> > Low dishonesty and craven cynicism sometimes win the day but not
> > inevitably. The attempt to link Barack Obama to an old radical in his
> > neighborhood has desperation and deceit written all over it.
> Meanwhile,
> > stunning acts of heroism stand out, such as the fidelity of military
> > lawyers assigned to defend detainees at Guantanamo Bay -- uniformed
> > officers faithful to their lawyerly duty to offer a vigorous defense
> > even though it means exposing the injustice of military justice that
> is
> > rigged for conviction and the mendacity of a commander in chief who
> > commits war crimes. If your law school is looking for a name for its
> new
> > library, instead of selling the honor to a fat cat alumnus, you
> should
> > consider the names of Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift, Lt. Col. Mark Bridges,
> > Col. Steven David, Lt. Col. Sharon Shaffer, Lt. Cmdr. Philip Sundel
> and
> > Maj. Michael Mori.
> >
> > It was dishonest, cynical men who put forward a clueless young woman
> for
> > national office, hoping to juice up the ticket, hoping she could
> skate
> > through two months of chaperoned campaigning, but the truth emerges:
> The
> > lady is talking freely about matters she has never thought about. The
> > American people have an ear for B.S. They can tell when someone's
> mouth
> > is moving and the clutch is not engaged. When she said, "One thing
> that
> > Americans do at this time, also, though, is let's commit ourselves
> just
> > every day, American people, Joe Six-Pack, hockey moms across the
> nation,
> > I think we need to band together and say never again. Never will we
> be
> > exploited and taken advantage of again by those who are managing our
> > money and loaning us these dollars," people smelled gas.
> >
> > Some Republicans adore her because they are pranksters at heart and
> love
> > the consternation of grown-ups. The ne'er-do-well son of the old
> > Republican family as president, the idea that you increase government
> > revenue by cutting taxes, the idea that you cut social services and
> > thereby drive the needy into the middle class, the idea that you
> > overthrow a dictator with a show of force and achieve democracy at no
> > cost to yourself -- one stink bomb after another, and now Governor
> Palin.
> >
> > She is a chatty sportscaster who lacks the guile to conceal her
> vacuity,
> > and she was Mr. McCain's first major decision as nominee. This
> troubles
> > independent voters, and now she is a major drag on his candidacy. She
> > will get a nice book deal from Regnery and a new career making
> personal
> > appearances for forty grand a pop, and she'll become a trivia
> question,
> > "What politician claimed foreign-policy expertise based on being able
> to
> > see Russia from her house?" And the rest of us will have to pull
> > ourselves out of the swamp of Republican economics.
> >
> > Your broker kept saying, "Stay with the portfolio, don't jump
> ship," and
> > you felt a strong urge to dump the stocks and get into the money
> market
> > where at least you're not going to lose your shirt, but you didn't
> do it
> > and didn't do it, and now you're holding a big bag of brown
> bananas. Me,
> > too. But at least I know enough not to believe desperate people who
> are
> > talking trash. Anybody who got whacked last week and still thinks
> > McCain-Palin is going to lead us out of the swamp and not into a war
> > with Iran is beyond persuasion in the English language. They'll need
> to
> > lose their homes and be out on the street in a cold hard rain before
> > they connect the dots.
> >
> > *Garrison Keillor is the author of a new Lake Wobegon novel,
> "Liberty"
> > (Viking).*
> >
> > "To the world you may be one person, but to one
> > person you just may be the world"

Laini Taylor said...

Hi everybody! thanks for your comments! I'd like to respond to everyone, but I know how the day can magically dissolve in the midst of political blog comments, so I'll just quickly reply to Wyman's two questions:

1.) On September 11, 2001, though I was only moderately well-informed, while my husband and I were glued to the news, I said, "This has got to be that Osama Bin Laden guy. Afghanistan is not going to give him up. We are going to have to invade." And we did, and I wholly supported that. As did almost all Democrats. That was CLEAR. There was a regime sheltering the terrorists that had planned the attack against us. We had no choice.

2.) As for Iraq, that was NOT clear. Nobody's saying he was a good guy, but the Middle East was much more stable prior to our invasion of Iraq, which was conducted under completely false pretenses. Yeah, there were things we needed to take issue with, but we had not exhausted all other means. We withdrew the weapons inspectors; Saddam Hussein didn't kick them out. And there are PLENTY of dictators in the world we could be removing from power if that our only criterion was not liking dictators. The invasion of Iraq was clearly not about that. It was a mistake that was made a far GREATER mistake by grave mismanagement and ignoring the counsel of military leaders.

So, there are my answers to your questions.

P.S. I am a Navy brat and grew up around ships and sailors my whole life. My father served in Vietnam and Desert Storm. I am not a "pacifist" who would avoid war in any situation. But I would always hope it was an option of last resort, as Afghanistan was, and Iraq was NOT. Bush and his cronies have used our men and women like toy soldiers on a game board, and I bet he's gotten quite a rush out of the experience. He really, really wanted to be a wartime president, and so he made his wish come true.

Laini Taylor said...

Oh, and to Karen I would add, that you can't *not believe* in global warming. It's not a matter of faith. It's a matter of science. The proof is there. It's like saying you choose not to believe in gravity. By not believing in gravity, are you going to suddenly float off the Earth? No. And just because you don't *believe* in global warming, doesn't mean it isn't going to continue. This is not an "agree to disagree" area. It's a fact vs. willful ignorance area.

As for health care, we need not emulate Canada's system as we move forward into trying to care for the poor and middle class, the children. You talk about waiting for surgeries? If you're poor in American, you can wait all you want. You're never going to get those surgeries at all. Do you really think that's better? Sure it is, if you're rich and you don't care at all about the poor. Which is odd, for a Christian. I don't think that was exactly Jesus's message. Am I wrong about that? Can someone tell me the Biblical passage where he said, "Let the poor die of treatable disease." ??

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Anonymous -- that IS wonderful. Thanks! Love Garrison Keillor. (I bet he's voting for Al Franken next month!)
:-)

rebecca said...

bravo, for posting that. i, too, have lost some readership because of few postings i've put up on mcpalin. but, hey, you know, it's my blog, it's my opinion, i'm entitled to it. you can read it or not. and those that feel i've offended (when i have not) then i suppose it's par for the course. but it will not change me, nor any future opinions. so my hats off to you girl for voicing this....

love your pink hair.....

Miss Bitty said...

Hey Laini!

You may not remember me, but we used to email back and forth, and even met for coffee once at Powell's, and then shopped at Anthropologie afterward (and your mom baked goodies for an impromptu Hurricane Katrina bake sale we did)...anyway! I've been lurking on your blog since forevah but today, I just had to comment.

Because I just wanted to add my kudos to you for speaking your mind and refusing to let negative comments get in your way. You absolutely have the right to say what you think, especially in your own little corner of the net, and if you lose readers because of it, well, that's the way it goes. I for one come here not just because I adore you and think you're, well, pretty much manufactured from 100% awesome, but also because you're vocal about being a liberal and a Democrat and make no apologies for it. You shouldn't, and it's about damn time that all of us liberals said it loud and proud, and refuse to let the other side try to make us ashamed of who we are.

I think the "never talk politics in polite company" rule is stupid and frankly, damaging to our national heritage. "Agreeing to disagree" has made us soft, unable to carry on political discussions with each other of all different beliefs and backgrounds, and learn to see and value each others' differences while maintaining our own. We've lost the art of the discussion by pushing "uncomfortable" topics off the table, so when passions heat up, it suddenly becomes "offensive" to simply voice our opinions.

Go to other countries in the world and sit down in the corner pub, bar, tavern, park bench, whatever, and you'll hear people -- strangers -- having heated political discussions...about their country, their culture, the world, etc. They're engaged and their countries benefit from that.

So basically, I'm just piping in to cheer you on and say, "Go you!" I'll keep reading faithfully and hey, if you ever feel like it, drop me an email sometime!

Suzanne Young said...

Laini, i love your blog!! I think you make intelligent, passionate comments that are neither mean nor over the top. Personally, I do like to avoid conflict, but that's me. You are a beautiful strong person.

AND, I am jealous that your husband has taste. Mine knows to skip the fashion and stick to gifts made of chocolate. :)

-Suz

Wyman said...

Thank you Laini Taylor for your thoughtful responses. They seemed well-reasoned to me, so I will understand in the future if I think your emotions are taking flight, that behind those emotions is a person who is willing and able to sit down with facts to figure out why he/she takes a certain stand. By he/she, I mean any person who thinks.

I too come from a military family background. I will skip over the who, where, when, etc. since you already understand about that. I will say this background often helps inform me on positions I take, particularly on world matters. Again, thank you for your reply. Now, I choose to address myself to some of your other wonderful commenters. I hope I have not stirred things up too much or upset anyone to the point of it affecting their health. If so, you may wish to stop reading here.

Anonymous, who replied just after my comment? This is mostly for you. First, I wish I could address you here by name, but shall address you by thought.

Yes, I did in fact vote a second time for Bush. Why? Because I thought Kerrey was more of a joke than Al Gore, who struck me as having none of the leadership qualities of his late father, Al Gore, Sr., the original Senator Gore from Tennessee. My vote for Bush was a reluctant vote, greatly predicated on the fact that the Democrats had nominated, in Kerrey, a joke for President. Nevermind whether you believe otherwise, this was a conclusion I reached based on information I felt I had. My decision was Bush was less of a joke than Kerrey, and in 9/11 had had to make important decisions with worldwide/foreign affairs implications.

Now, let me state again, I am a "Nixon-Republican", which means I do not come out of the School of Reagan politics/leadership, as current President George Bush does. There was good and bad that came out of the Reagan years, but I choose not to discuss that here for space-saving reasons. I am more a moderate Republican, who leans toward rational conservative views.

You spoke of many things. In a proper discussion, we could take each point, thrash them out, agree on some, end up vehemently opposed to each other on other points. This is why I stated the many things I stated in my original post above. I was strongly hinting at who I am. However, that was for the sake of Laini, in the hope she would first; reply, second; reply in a reasoned manner, which she has done. Had she been strident in her reply or not replied at all, I would have figured she was one of the clueless Liberals I often run into.

I feel both Conservative and Liberals have reached a point where their views are less reasoned than strident based on rhetoric both hear. Polarization results, which serves the purpose of whoever wins the polarization war at any given time, be it Democrats or Republicans. The policy result of this can be something like our current Economic Crisis. Both parties deserve much credit for being asleep at the wheel on this, although members of both parties warned against this. Well, that is a whole 'nother can of worms worthy of another day's topic.

Anyway, I tried to inject a bit of humor, then asked Laini some serious questions, but felt it only proper to state some background on myself, even to the point of knowing it might rile the passions of some, maybe even Laini. I prefer the days when Liberals and Conservatives screamed passionately at each other and sincerely believed their passions, while Moderates brought them together long enough to write some policies coming from both sides, with Moderate modifications, into law. America misses that today and badly needs it to the point of needing a third party of Moderates. Then the country might accomplish solving some of our real needs; some of which you mentioned Anonymous.

Let me close now. I appreciate one and all, named and Anonymous, and will now bookmark this site, having overlooked that earlier, thinking Laini was just an artist only. Thanks for a stirring political discourse. Thanks again to you Laini and thank you for the use of your comments area. I will try to return with the link to my blogsite to be fair to all here. Goodday!!!

kendalee said...

Laini, it all boils down to integrity doesn't it? And you have that in spades!

As you said, you are a Democrat, and a liberal, and this is YOUR blog so it should reflect who you are, or what's the point? Agreeing to disagree would surely just be a compromise and when a situation as important as this is under discussion, can one afford to compromise? Or just withdraw from the discussion to avoid confrontation, or to avoid losing a few readers? I think not. And I admire you enormously for not just taking the polite stance here.

I think a lot of people are tired of avoiding the issues and avoiding discussing the issues and for every reader you might lose - their loss actually - you will gain one or more.

And what all of that waffle amounts to is that I just wanted to say, "Thank you!". For your integrity, and all the ways you express it here.

And of course, it has to be added that the pink-hair-and-turquoise-jacket-combination are also a wonderful expression of who you are!

Wyman said...

http://360.yahoo.com/wyman_net Hopefully, the above link will allow those who wish to view my Yahoo Blogsite to do so. My initial reason for arriving here and on some of your visitors sites is I hope to turn myself into a published short story writer by the end of 2009. This was suppose to happen in 2008, but you know how one gets sidetracked, which is in truth saying, lack of dedication, if I am honest with myself. I hope to find inspiration here for the dedication thing, if I can slow down my commentary.

Although if you search long and hard enough, you will find some of my poorly written short stories and poems, I have been mostly, an off the top of my head essayist, on whatever struck me the day I posted. Okay, let me leave it at that. I love having readers, whether they comment or not, but do not wish to look too much like I am advertising here. Future posts and even comments here will depend on how much longer my poor, aging computer holds up.

Thanks for any and all inspiration to dedication I achieve from visiting these varied Writers' blogsites. Happy writing!!!

Disco Mermaids said...

THANK YOU!!!

I've been so frustrated by the "agree to disagree" comment for the longest time. Discussions are about discussing, not spouting off things we've memorized. It's a give-and-take! I want you to challenge my beliefs. I get embarrassed when I find out I've been led to believe something that wasn't true...and then I change my belief.

But too many people, when faced with facts that contradict what they want to believe, turn to the "agree to disagree" cliche. That's when I realize, "Oh, I thought we were discussing something. Turns out we were just talking at each other."

If we want a democracy run by informed citizens, discussions should never end with "agree to disagree." It gives intentionally ignorant people an easy out. Instead, if the discussion has to end, why not something like "agree to consider what you've said"?

I know. "Agree to disagree" is much catchier.

- Jay

Anonymous said...

Define:
Agree to Disagree-
Set aside an irreconcilable difference in order to maintain a civil dialogue.

I think the message is not to be robots with no opinions, or mute, keeping all opinions to ourselves...but before debating turns to angry words and hate we should agree to disagree, and maintain that civil dialogue.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi anonymous,
I get it. I know what "agree to disagree" means. But how do we know what is an irreconcilable difference if someone cannot or will not support or defend their views and just wants to eschew discussion? I conceded above that there ARE agree-to-disagree issues I respect, like religion. But a lot of people fall back on this phrase when they realize they can't support their own argument. It gets abused and misused as a get-out-of-discussion-free card.

Deirdre said...

Several of the people I love most in this world hold a different political view than I do. My solution is to limit debate, not because I'm backing down, but because I believe the heart of a relationship lies beyond politics.

I'm also a terrible debater and wouldn't do my cause as much good as I'd like. I'm glad there are people who are much better at it than I could be. Of course, that doesn't mean I stay silent all the time.

As for using your blog to write about politics - I hope you'll keep it up...some things need to be said out loud.

Carrie Harris said...

Just wanted to send you hugs, tons of respect for standing up for what you believe in, and more ice cream. Calorie-free of course. Because you deserve it, chica.

gomomyourock said...

I grew up with those dishes - in yellow and in white, and I love that Jim found them at the antique store - yet another reminder that I'm not twenty anywmore!

Keep speaking your mind. More people ought to do that more often...miserable confrontation-avoiding weaslets.

Have great day!

Anonymous said...

wait...so if we define irreconciable differences to not include political issues, than its ok to be uncivil?
I don't see it as a get out of discussion free card, but a disguss with civility card.

Nerd Goddess said...

Laini, I think you might enjoy this completely adorable, non-controversial video of my nephew: http://moofamily.blogspot.com/2008/08/this-blog-was-not-intended-to-be.html

And no, I'm not linking to this just because it's my nephew. ;) It really is political!

Laini Taylor said...

Um, anonymous, you have done a classic Right Wing misreprentation of my words right there. I'm sure you see that I did not say that irreconcilable differences do not include political issues. I said -- how do we know what's an irreconcilable difference if people won't discuss but just fall back on a lame "agree to disagree" without being able to support their position? An opinion you can't back up is worth exactly nothing. Opinions you can't back up probably stem from propaganda and are dangerous. But you know what I said. You're just intentionally misconstruing it. It might make you feel clever to play those games, but it doesn't get us anywhere, does it?

Laini Taylor said...

Nerd Goddess,
That's SO cute! Love it!