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Blue and Red – A New Online Political Magazine

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A new online political magazine called Blue and Red just launched a few days ago and I think it’s well worth your time. The site is the brainchild of Larime Taylor, who used to run a great blog called Iron Blog. The point of Iron Blog was to have, each week, two people of different ideologies battle it out on a specific political issue. The battles were judged and the intent was to create in-depth and respectful debate that could help bring together people of differing political views. The site did not last, unfortunately, but it provided some great debate during its time and did indeed serve to bring together people of different ideological stripes.

Iron Blog has actually been reborn as part of Blue and Red. However, it is just one part of what is now a much larger picture. The goal of the site continues to be inclusive political debate that shows both sides of the issues. The intent is to bring people together–from the right, the left and the middle–to help them cooperate and gain an appreciation for differing opinions. I think it’s a fine goal during a time when partisanship is quite high.

Blue and Red’s mission in its own words are as follows:

Greetings. As we begin our grand experiment that is Blue and Red, we want to take a moment to let you know just what it is you’ve stumbled upon from whatever place led you here. Blue and Red is an online weekly magazine dedicated to creating real dialogue between the different factions of our divided America. The magazine itself is what you’re reading right now, and it will provide eight weekly columns to start (growing to as many as 20 in the future) that look at various aspects of politics and the online political world. These columns will be published once a week on a set day, providing fresh content Monday through Friday. Along with the featured, weekly columns, there will be guest columns, interviews and more.

We have a phpBB system set up for readers to discuss everything from current events to internal party politics, religion and culture in America, as well as topics linked from our columns and interviews to allow you to discuss what you read. Debate the writer’s arguments with fellow readers and often the writers themselves. We will also be bringing back Iron Blog, the online battlefield of idealogical warfare. From time to time a Challenger will battle one of the Iron Bloggers in a week-long, structured and judged debate with readers discussing the battle as it progresses in the comments. It’s like Iron Chef, but about politics and (unfortunately) without the nifty voice-overs. Whose spleen will vent supreme?

All of this has been created with one goal in mind: dialogue. We seek to step beyond the echo chambers of blogs, the flame wars of message boards and the relentless spin of the modern media. We want actual, substantive debate over the issues of the day. All that’s required is an open mind.

I’m one of the guest columnists on the site and my first article–about PETA–was posted yesterday. I’ll be doing more political writing there in the future and I hope to see the site’s audience grow fast. It’s well worth your time and attention and I hope to see some great dialogue going on there, both in terms of the official columns and in discussion in the forums. I recall having some great conversations with people during the Iron Blog days and I made some conservative friends from that site, who I otherwise never would have met since I generally visit liberal political sites. In that bipartisan atmosphere, it was easy to hear out opposing viewpoints and easy to moderate the rhetoric and get down to the simple business of finding common ground and learning to respect and understand the other side’s views. Opinions were not often changed, but there was a respectful give and take that was incredibly refreshing.

I expect the same at Blue and Red. So check the site out–you’ll probably find something you like no matter what your views are. You’ll probably find plenty to disagree with, as well, and hopefully you’ll feel an urge to engage and discuss and debate. That’s the whole point.

As an aside, the site is looking for new writers, as well. Particularly, conservative writers are needed. If you think you might be interested in contributing to the site, then check it out, get a feel for what is going on and then give Larime an email if you want more information.

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About Joel Caris

  • Sajid Javed
  • RJ: Thanks! Yay free media!

  • Eric Olsen

    ah, Iron Chef, my first thought was Iron Giant, but I’ve been following this thread

  • RJ

    Good luck, Larime! 🙂

  • Aaman: Sorry about that. B&R being a magazine with a blog and web forums, we’re eating up bandwidth, and as we’re trying to do the Independent magazine free of corporate sponsors and investors, we’re running with next to no budget, so donations are going to be crucial to keeping us going.

  • Maurice

    “The strangest part of it is that the press just printed it without checking in to see if we really wrote or sent the letter.”

    I don’t find that strange. I think the days of fact checking are over.

  • Thanks for the link and info… good start.. look forward to its development. I was trying to track down that KFC review here, to hear of developments.

  • Yeah, Eric, it was based on Iron Chef. There were some great battles back in the day. I’m glad Iron Blog will be going on the new site, as well–though it will be a more sporadic affair.

    Aaman, I imagine the balance will ebb and flow over time based on what people are currently writing columns. The goal, of course, is to have good representation from both sides. Plus, the balance will probably be easier to get a handle on after the site’s been going a full week and all of the regular columnists have contributed.

    As for the donate buttons, it doesn’t bother me but I can understand being put off by it.

    Dave, I hope you’ll check the site out again in a week or so, perhaps. There’ll be more content by then and perhaps you’ll find it more compelling.

  • A ‘Donate’ button at the end of every piece is off-putting

    Also, the selections so far are not quite balanced. Perhaps that will change.

    Good start – scope for much discussion

  • I assume the Iron Blog concept came from “Iron Chef”?

  • Thanks for posting about it. So far, not very impressive as group blogs go.