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A Suggestion for My Fellow Liberals – Let’s Play Nice with the Conservatives!

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On another thread in BC Politics there’s a discussion about whether we should rebuke each other when it comes to inappropriate language and insults. I think the discussion is important enough to deserve its own thread.

The main thrust of my point is this: if we GIVE those we oppose the courtesy and respect that we would expect in a serious discussion, then we will (generally) GET that same respect in return. Conversely, if we give disrespect in the form of profanity and insults, we will certainly get disrespect in return and there will be NO chance of convincing anyone of anything…other than most conservatives’ preconceived notions of what kind of people liberals are.

Remember why most of us dwell here on BC Politics. Some of us are here because we like to stir up people we don’t like, but the great majority of us (from every side) are here because we want to stand up for what we believe in, and hopefully to change a mind or two. Now of course it’s an adult’s right to swear and insult as they will, but just because it’s our right doesn’t make it the right thing to do! As a retired Navy man, there’s precious few cusswords or insults I haven’t heard or used. I do understand both sides of the story.

If we refrain from profanity and insults and maintain a professional air, then we sound more professional…and we will be given respect (even if grudgingly) for that. That modicum of mutual respect is the foot in the door, the moment in which the other guy’s actually having to LISTEN to what you’re saying instead of searching for an insulting rejoinder.

You get what you give. What goes around comes around. Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. Courtesy and respect towards your opponents will generally get you the same in return, but disrespect slams the door in opportunity’s face.

Let’s keep the door open – otherwise, no one can ever come through.

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About Glenn Contrarian

White. Male. Raised in the deepest of the Deep South. Retired Navy. Strong Christian. Proud Liberal. Thus, Contrarian!
  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Good advice, Glenn, except that in extreme cases – and Ruvy has often presented us with a sample – “fuck” is the most appropriate response one can think of.

  • Arch Conservative

    As a conservative I think it’s important to make the distinction between liberals and leftists.

    Just as with conservatism there are varying degrees of liberalism.

    Anyone that immediately labels all conservatives and republicans as “racist’ is pretty much an idiot leftist, moonbat not worthy of civility and there are a few of those around here.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Glenn,

    You make a good case here, but there are times when politeness, if it stops you from truly speaking your mind should be left at the door.

    “I apologize for my *rants and raves* and for getting after one of our BCers who has going after me and everyone else.”

    I’ve had my *words* with many people here and most have forgiven me my mouth. I hope that you can see it from my point of view.

    Also, you know how the *ghosts get in here*, we can’t really ask them not to swear or rave, can we?

    :D Good morning, Glenn.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Good morning, BC! :D

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jeannie –

    Also, you know how the *ghosts get in here*, we can’t really ask them not to swear or rave, can we?

    Just remember that even the ‘ghosts’ are intelligent people…and while they probably won’t benefit from a kind reminder, they certainly won’t act any better if we tell them what we really think…I am retired Navy, after all, and I can think f-bombs with the best of them!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Glenn,

    I was told not to engage in conversation with these, commentators.

    The other night I mistook a BC writer for one! I’m glad they published an article.

    :D

  • Baronius

    Glenn, I don’t know if this comment will be pulled – maybe it should be – but from my vantage point, none of the liberal BC regulars treat people with less respect than you do.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    That is ridiculous. Glenn writes in an overwrought, impassioned way, but it rarely comes off as a personal attack.

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/2010/07/tyrants-start-somewhere.html Tommy Mack

    Well put,Glenn.

    My 3ndoresement [spell check thinks that is OK] of Blogcritics, and that which attracted me, is the “sinister cabal” idea for unpaid writers. I am proud to be a part of it. My own keen interest is civil liberties. And oh by the way, I am a card carrying member of the ACLU.

    My writing does not use epithets because my writing is edited from rough drafts where I let it all rip. But this is public. The commentary I read on Blogcritics is somewhat better than that which is instantly displayed on New York Times and Washington Post threads, which have become tedious.

    However, an over use of ALL CAPS for emphasis, a profusion of epithets, or an abundance of dots dashes and pound signs make me dismiss a comment. I may note it but usually ignore it.

    Guttural rhetoric and commenting with ones thumbs, a Twitter trap, renders otherwise thoughtful comments to spew.

    I hope this helps.

  • Cannonshop

    #7 I have to say that Glenn doesn’t attack anyone on a personal level-and that’s speaking as someone who argues with him a mite more often than most.

    I am, however, kind of curious as to what brought this article about.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Baronius – you must have meant “with more respect than . . . ,” no?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Yes, Baronius,

    Glenn is always very congenial and polite…We locked horns once, but I think we became comrades afterward.

    Are you upset because he won a debate with you? :D LOL

  • Baronius

    Well, we all have our own personalities, and I wouldn’t have said anything because (a) it’s rude and (b) it’s part of BC policy to not attack personally. It’s just that the last person I could picture writing this article is Glenn.

    And I probably shouldn’t have said anything. There are some people whose articles and/or comments I usually don’t read. That’s the easiest solution. (Abstinence is 100% effective.)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Glenn, you soft old @#$!%. What the %^&$ are you playing at, telling us to play nice with those *@#%!s? If some &%!@# right-wing *&@!er is going to spout his %^$#@ here, then you can ^%$#ing bet your &$^%@ I’m going to call him a !@#$@% &*%$! ##!$%@ – the $#%@# *&^%$#@!. %@#$ that!

    ;-)

  • Cindy

    maintain a professional air, then we sound more professional…and we will be given respect (even if grudgingly) for that

    Why should we get respect for a posture? I don’t respect a ‘professional air’. It’s an ‘air’. It’s phony.

    Be a polite, kind person if you will…but putting on airs? Please…this is how we are forced into cookie cutter molds that disparage some people and tolerate only those who will kowtow to the ‘professional air’. It translates directly into the idea that certain styles are appropriate and others are judged,. The world is made a worse place, not a better one, for trying to mold people into what the powerful classes deem appropriate. And they value a ‘professional air’, which is precisely why I reject it.

    There is nothing wrong with having your own personality or being ‘unprofessional’.

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/2010/07/tyrants-start-somewhere.html Tommy Mack

    Doctor,

    Your comment cannot be ignored. Nicely done.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop, Roger, Jeannie –

    Thanks. I do appreciate that. And I hope that gives some credence to what I’m saying. The article came about from me trying to get Ruvy and a new commenter to refrain from just tossing accusations and insults – and Jordan and zing stepped in and told me I was out of line for doing so.

    They, like Cindy, have valid points, too. My point, though, is that the more professional we are with others and with ourselves, the more effective we are.

    And Doc – I love your comment!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    You’ll see me give arguments lots of times, and more often forceful than not.

    But I challenge you to find even one personal insult I’ve ever posted on this or any other forum. You might find a lot of craps, a few doggones and “f-bombs” (not the f-word) and a dammit or two, and one bastard…but no serious cursewords and certainly none directed at anyone.

    I am sorely tempted to use Johnny Dangerously’s “furrrrgin’ bastiches” sometimes, though.

  • http://loftypremise.blogspot.com/2010/07/tyrants-start-somewhere.html Tommy Mack

    I know how you feel. I was tempted too, once. ONCE! [Cork sacker. I just stepped in intellectual sheep dip.]

  • Glenn Contrarian

    once…ONCE! I gotta show my youngest on that movie – he’d love it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/realist Realist

    OK, Glenn. My metaphorical gonads are getting used to being smashed all the time. Maybe if we try again, and again, and again, ad nauseum, the conservatives will have a conscience attack and recognize the error of their ways. If so, the damage will have been worth it.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Glenn, fuck the left and the yellow nag it rode in on.

    There you go.

    Dave

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    You know, I do have a great deal of respect for your ability as an editor. That’s not a statement of sarcasm, but of fact.

  • dharma55

    I love you guys.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I still want to know how you can separate the two of them.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jeannie –

    If someone throws a rock at you, throw a loaf of bread back at them.

    That’s a Filipino version of ‘turn the other cheek’ – and I don’t do it nearly as often as I should.

  • Zedd

    Glenn,

    While I don’t use profanity and actually the use of it usually makes me uncomfortable, I cant see how adults who use it to express exasperation about important events, especially at this very confusing time in our nation’s history, can be seen as anything but passionate. I read the thread that you are referring to and I didn’t see the commentary is vulgar at all. It wasn’t even argumentative nor was it a personal attack. It was more so a commentary on the ideas or mindset.

    I find Ruvy or the old Arch to be much more disturbing than that instance.

    However, I can see how if that interaction is permissible others who come to BC may mistake the type if exchange to always be at that level. That I can see would diminish the level of depth in our discussions.

    I do have to say that I appreciate BC because of its policies. My only contention is that there aren’t too many people from the right who pose a cogent argument. Sane Dan is quite admirable but aside for his disdain for Obama, I wouldn’t call him a conservative nor right wing. I would personally love to be challenged thoroughly.

  • Zedd

    Glenn,

    What part of the country do you live in?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Zedd –

    I live in a town across Puget Sound from Seattle. Though western Washington is very blue, the town I’m in (Bremerton) is home to the most important Navy installations on the West Coast…and like most other military towns, Bremerton’s pretty conservative.

    You should hear some of the conversations I have with my fellow Church members, since I’m the only liberal there who’ll stand up for what I believe.

  • Zedd

    Whenever there is a reference to Puget Sound on the tele, they always play the sound of what I assume are sea gulls followed by waves crashing so I imagine it to be a tranquil environment.

    My part of texas is a metropolis and right now its hot. Its unbelievable that we live here. Every summer we ask ourselves how an entire civilization sprung up and still stands after all of these years with everyone knowing that the summer is coming. People walk from parking lots with their heads lowered, counting each step, putting one foot in front of the other to get to the door, any door. The outside is this dreaded place. I often feel like Im an a 60’s tripped out movie, maybe even a Hitchcock or The Twilight Zone. Like soon pig faced men will land on helicopters with lances and round us all up, then cut the scene and we’ll discover that the buildings are fake and we were part of this elaborate experiment, then the cool breeze will flow but we will be in animal pens.

    However it is getting cooler. It was 96 yesterday!!! Yes! The end is near.

  • Zedd

    88 today!!!!!!

  • Cannonshop

    #29 I’ve always found that phenomena a little bizarre-strip away the 19th/20th century wording and look at the ideas underlying it, Christianity (New Testament) and most “Progressives” are natural allies.

    (Note, I’m not a christian. Never have been, even attending church).

    Modern “Progressive” politics is just the Church without the God, really-they substitute mortal people for it most often, or Government itself, but the understructure basically tries to make people do the same things.

    Just for different claimed reasons.

    Just an observation of amusement…