Well, the Netroots Debate didn’t happen. It is a shame, but life will go on. The most curious aspect of this situation is the disappearance of the host site, Common Sense for Virginia. When you click on the link to the site, a message flashes up indicating that the blog cannot be found. Strange indeed. On a cached page (that too has now similarly vanished), the author of Common Sense for Virginia offers a bit of explanation. In the post, he laments the lack of civility and rational dialogue prevalent in many political blogs today. As he puts it, “Over the past 5 months, I have been appalled by these so called “activists”, the “backbone” of the party. Not only has the blogosphere shown time and timr [sic] again their relative lack of civility, honesty, character, respect, and intelligence but most bloggers seem content with scoring cheap shot after cheap shot and complete disregard for facts.” He goes on to say, “The level of disrespect, contempt for honesty, and de-facto party ‘spinners’ is terrifying at best. While I can respectfully [say] that I admire many bloggers aim to further their party, bashing doesn’t usually work out to be the best course of action.” Unfortunately, for the most part, Venu is right. Honest and meaningful discussions about the pressing issues of the day have taken a backseat to political demagoguery, sound bites, and outrageous clamoring. Politics has become more about entertainment and sensationalism than information and persuasion. Some blogs read more like substance free tabloids and include titles like “Backwards Bob Wants to Keep Women at Home” or “Republicans Plan to Kill Seniors.” Although I wish I could say otherwise, this issue doesn’t just plague the left. By comparison, from what I gathered, Common Sense for Virginia tried to chart a fairly neutral route, typically offering statistics and explanation without heavy stumping for any position. It is exceedingly rare these days (even in academia) to look at politics from a purely objective point of view.
In closing, Common Sense for Virginia offers this thought: “I think I’ve learned some valuable lessons here: Politics is a rather depressing hobby.” Now if that is the only lesson one can glean from American politics today, it leads to unsettling conclusions. Not only will individual participation and interest in our government decrease, but it also throws the future of our very Republic in question. As few politicians seem to be concerned with constitutional restraint, states rights, and individual liberties, should more citizens take a passive role, then the government will continue to grow unchecked. In that dark age, the lives, liberty, and property of citizens will exist merely to serve the grandiose schemes of the state.
I wish you well, Venu. Thank you for adding to political dialogue in a meaningful and civil manner.
But this post is titled “An End And A Beginning”. Even though Common Sense for Virginia is no more. I’m delighted to tell you about a new blog. One of my friends from my college days has joined the conversation with Vicious Print. Though it is quite new, it serves to offer his commentary as well as direct viewers to his ongoing graphic novel. Given my lengthy dialogues with “Mr. Average”, I have high hopes for his work, as his political observations are usually informative, entertaining, and poignant. Unlike my typically conservative slant, he writes from a libertarian perspective. I recommend reading his post “Oh, you, wacky, wacky lefties!”
Just remember: “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die…” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 (NLT)