Sunday, July 22, 2007

Say hello to Monica.


Monica -- cousin to one Wanda Watkins -- has dropped by and left a lengthy comment here, so I suggest that, since she's taken the time to pen something, you similarly take the time to go and read it. (Yes, I meant now -- what did you think I meant?)

Monica closes with:

Let me know if you have an actual topic that you would like me to write on and I'll see what I can do...

and since it's my blog, I'm going to open the bidding.

It's a common position in the Left-o-sphere, Monica, that the whole philosophy of "Support the troops" has become so politicized that it's virtually impossible for anyone who opposes the mission in Afghanistan to still say that they support the troops, since that (troop) support will immediately (and dishonestly, of course) be re-interpreted as support for the mission. So my question for you, Monica, is two-fold:

  • Do you agree with what I just said above regarding the frustrating (and dishonest) politicization of this whole troop support thing? And,

  • If Canada's progressives are tired of being misrepresented this way, how should they publicly announce their support for the troops while making it clear that that support doesn't extend to the mission?

A good answer to that second question would go a long way towards settling this current dust-up. And if you want to address that (or anything else related, for that matter, it's up to you), e-mail the end result and I'll post it.

And thanks for showing up. This might end up being surprisingly productive.

P.S. Just between you and me, Monica, I agree that, yes, I was a bit over-the-top and there was no real need to come on that hard-assed but one of my cats was hit by a car and killed last weekend so it's been a shitty week all around and I felt like venting and, unfortunately, your cousin happened to wander in front of the sights at just the wrong time and ... well, you get the idea.

So let's just move on and see what we can accomplish here, OK?

12 comments:

Cherniak_WTF said...

Wow, can't wait to see what she will write and the ensuing debate.

Ti-Guy said...

I took mild exception to something Monica wrote, but I addressed it in the comments section of that post.

Red Tory said...

This looks very promising indeed.

Excellent questions, by the way. I’ll be most interested to see the response.

Shannon said...

Jeez, CC. I'm really sorry to hear about your cat! My sympathy to you.

Monica said...

Hello again!

CC - Thanks for the interesting topic suggestion...I would be happy to write about that. My Master's thesis was actually on U.S. military wives and their inability to openly oppose the Iraq War. Anyway, it'll probably take me a few days before I'm able to respond properly as I'm a Program Manager and Victim Advocate for a Native American domestic violence/sexual assault program and its grant reporting time...I'm swamped this week.

Ti-Guy... I just wanted to clear up something (from my side) concerning your comment Here

I am not suggesting that you should sit around and do nothing...nor did all of us "liberals" here in the U.S. do nothing as the conservatives continued to expand their power. It is my belief that in order to effect change, you've got to convince people...especially the "average person"...to listen to you. Its difficult to do that when you've so offended them that they; close their minds to anything intelligent that you have said.

You stated that your goal is to discredit the "hard core conservatives" - I share that goal. However, we'll probably have to "agree to disagree" on the best manner in which to do so. Resist them - yes. Point out the flaws in their arguments - yes. Organize..protest...write - yes. But I personally fail to see how adopting their crude tactics/strategy/words...acting just like them except on the side of the "left" does much to discredit them. Those who already share your views will probably continue to do so - "preaching to the choir." And those who never did? Well, we all know that it is highly unlikely that you are going to convince a right-winger that your position/opinion is "correct" no matter what tactic you use. Negative ones only give them further ammunition to throw against the "left" - to discredit us. However, what of those who are "in the middle" or might be persuaded to at least consider your argument? When such negative tactics are used, the general result is to alienate them and, in their effort to distance themselves from you, close their minds to any of the legitimate points that you have raised.

Anyway, like I mentioned earlier...we might just have to "agree to disagree" on this one : )

CC - I'm truly sorry to hear about your cat...I know how that feels. We all have crap days and act out in anger. Thanks for the opportunity and for being willing to listen to my position.

Ti-Guy said...

But I personally fail to see how adopting their crude tactics/strategy/words...acting just like them except on the side of the "left" does much to discredit them.

No one's acting "just like them." Isolated comments do not reflect a generalised approach, although living in the US, I can understand why you'd think that way.

I'm not agreeing to disagree and I can't believe that you think continuing to try to "reach out" to authoritarians will cause them to change how they believe other people are best persuaded to accept things (ie. by force). With authoritarians, that is just not possible.

I normally recommend that we just don't talk to them and don't help them at all; their flawed ideas will lead to ruin all on their own (and indeed, this is what we are seeing). I also believe it's the responsibility of the more level-headed among the Right, and not anyone else's, to counsel its own.

Monica said...

Ti-Guy...That's fine, you obviously don't have to "agree to disagree" but its pretty clear that we are going to continue to disagree on this point....especially when you credit me with suggestions that I didn't make - but I'll dress those in a minute. Firstly, in case you have forgotten, my whole point of contention WAS/IS the "isolated comments" made by CC. Perhaps that is the first time that CC has ever used such a tactic - fine - that does not change the fact that, for me, using hateful language and lashing out at individuals that you disagree with rather than expressing your views in a manner that forces people to argue with you on the ISSUES at hand rather than the language/method used IS acting just like "them." And that's what happened, more or less, isn't it? Aside from individuals like yourself who already share CC's views, it really did a lot do discredit and defeat those hard-core conservatives, didn't it? Oh yes, and I'm sure that CC is the ONLY person on the left who has acted in such a manner, right? Hardly. You can't lump all those on the "right" together and then not expect that others will do the same to the "left"...so individual voices, "isolated comments" are then assigned to the "movement" as a whole. Hmm...it would appear that they aren't isolated comments after all....not when they become a part of other "isolated comments."

Additionally, I know of several "hard-core conservatives" who have made "isolated comments" yet no one seems to have an issue attacking those and adding those comments to the "generalised approach" credited to the right-wingers. Again, I am NOT defending their views or their tactics....just the opposite. Even though you don't agree with me on this (which, obviously, is just fine), I (and I'm not alone on this one, by the way...and other CANADIANS share my views...despite your insinuation that its simply because I'm from the U.S.?!),feel that it does make you look like "them." You don't think so? Ask others who don't already share your views....

I think that its funny that you accuse me of thinking a certain way simply because I am from the U.S. (wouldn't have anything to do with my education or life experiences - most of which have taken place OUTSIDE the U.S., would it?) yet you are acting more like many from the U.S. than I. What I'm referring to is your statement that I am suggesting that you continue to "try to reach out to authoritarians." First of all, if you re-read my comment, I specifically said that it is completely unlikely that you will change the minds of hard-core right-wingers (I'm assuming that these are the "authoritarians" you are referring to?) no matter which approach you use...what I advocated for was not ALIENATING those who are somewhat in the MIDDLE. And, in case you have forgotten, my original reason for posting on this blog was in response to the language used against my Cousin Wanda...think what you will about her politics, she is certainly not an authoritarian....although her political views are rather conservative, she is also an intelligent woman who happens to be going through a time of immense grief. Had CC's arguments against her statements been made without the seething attack, there was a much better chance that she, her friends/family and general supporters would have at least listened...that a seed would have been planted...what CC's approach ensured is that they never will - or that it will be MUCH more difficult at this point.

Again, you obviously don't have to accept that I'd like to "agree to disagree" on this one but I highly doubt that we are going to reach some sort of agreement - especially when you assign beliefs/suggestions to me that I didn't make.

Ti-Guy said...

Had CC's arguments against her statements been made without the seething attack, there was a much better chance that she, her friends/family and general supporters would have at least listened...that a seed would have been planted...what CC's approach ensured iI s that they never will - or that it will be MUCH more difficult at this point.

Well, I shouldn't presume to speak for CC, but persuading Wanda or you of anything was probably never CC's point to begin with. In the big picture, to me anyway, it was the issue of emotional blackmail; of being made to support policies that are illegal/immoral/indefensible or simply because one chooses not to support could be construed as being objectively harmful to some individual's emotional well-being.

I think that's a greater problem. If you want to persist in seeing this more as a problem of civil discourse, you can do so...I doubt that's going to stop the killing of innocent people anytime soon, however.

CC said...

Just FYI, I've been working on a post regarding the whole idea of "civility" in discourse. Not surprisingly, I have my own take on it.

Monica said...

"I doubt that's going to stop the killing of innocent people anytime soon, however."

....again, we are going to continue to disagree on this issue. I personally feel that you have a much better chance of changing policies if you are able to convince a enough people that your position is "correct" or "valid"

Ti-Guy said...

But first, the emotional black-mailing should be removed from the discussion, no?

Monica said...

Ti-Guy...as for "emotional blackmail," I agree. I definitely take issue with this and, again, have never criticized CC's message...simply the method of addressing "emotional blackmail."