Thursday, December 02, 2004

Lines of Communication

This is an idea By Craig over at the Left ain't Right. I like any opportunity for people of all political persuasions to be able to share ideas. I spend a lot of time going through the conservative blogs. Not only to try to put in my two cents, but to also learn and listen. If you would like to join the discussion, go to the link above and drop Craig a line.

posted by Craig R. Harmon Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Talk to me, everyone!
I have a radical idea for a new blog; I want to publish your thoughts. Please stay with me for a few minutes and leave me your comments.
Reading this Opinion piece by David Sweet, one Democrat who seems to have found his way off of the pity-party/denigrate-the-Republicans merry-go-round, got me to thinking. He seems to have paid attention, and figured out what the Red-State voters were saying in this election. Mind you, he isn’t suggesting that Democrats move to the center. To the contrary, he suggests that their platform “ought to be radical.” We conservatives may applaud that suggestion as a recipe, in the short view, for Republican victories for many years to come. That may be, however his suggestions for Democrats are designed for the long view and they could, eventually, spell trouble for Republicans in decades to come.

First, he suggests that his fellow progressives get out and talk to Bush voters of all racial, national, economic and geographical backgrounds and listen—really listen—to what this most recent election meant to them.

This sounds like good advice for conservative Republicans as well. Thinking that we know why we won and running into policy terrain that Bush voters really don’t favor, rather than learning why we really won, could spell trouble for us as early as 2006. Imagining that Bush was elected so that he could institute his worker program for illegal aliens or partially privatize Social Security—both controversial policies even among Republicans—could be a big mistake. It seems to me that Bush was elected mostly because he seemed, to the majority of the electorate, to be the most credible leader in the greater war on terror, which is what most of the pre-election polls suggested. Supposing that Bush has a mandate from the people for putting into effect every proposal he put forward in the campaign is, in my opinion, just crazy thinking.

In this regard, the Democrats have time to talk, listen, formulate their policies and build upon their base of support; they are the opposition. Republican’s don’t; we’re in power now. Bush needs to lead. However, he needs to be very careful where and how he does it.

So how do we find out what the people who just elected Bush elected him to do? We must dispassionately and critically examine those pre-election polls on various issues. The people were speaking to Bush long before they elected him. For him to try to go in unpopular directions is, in my mind, a very bad idea unless he first builds a foundation of public support for them.

The administration doesn’t have time to talk and listen to the electorate—he ought to have been doing that during the campaign. Still, Mr. Sweet’s advice about talking and listening, formulating and building is exactly what the Republican Party should be doing with that 49% or so of Kerry voters as a means of planning for future elections. Three percent is a slim margin upon which to build a Republican dynasty and we should be looking to the future as well.

In this spirit of talking and listening, I am calling on Liberals and Progressives, as well as Centrists and Conservatives to talk…on a new blog that I will be starting. Here is what I am proposing:

The name of this new blog will be Continuum: from Left to Right. The title: The Left Ain’t Right is inappropriately combative for the sort of discussions I have in mind.
I’d like to hear your ideas for topics of discussion: I can be reached at revcraigh (at); all topics will be considered. I will collate the topics and publish a list on my new blog.
Once we have the topics, I will suggest one to be the topic for discussion.
I will then accept articles on the discussion topic via email. Depending on how many I receive, I may select what I view to be the best from among the submissions and publish them on the new blog.
These will form the basis for a conversation to which anyone may contribute: hard Right to far Left; hence the title.
There will be ground rules, of course. I’m looking for reasoned debate, not ad hominem attacks, and foul language, especially in articles for posting, will be edited or even form grounds for rejection. Articles will be expected to remain on the given topic and be kept reasonably short. Other than that, any position on the topic is acceptable.

What do you think? Talk to me!

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