Even the blogosphere -- filled with articulate, intelligent people as it is -- is susceptible to a couple of traditional woes of mankind; those being the herd mentality of irrational thought or lack thereof, and the fact that the more popular you get the more afraid you are to take a stand.
Since I'm not popular (yet) or particularly articulate, I'll let Booman at the Booman Tribune speak for me, as he does it so well in this post discussing why much of the liberal left is afraid to take a stand against Israel, even in part.
The latter issue regarding herd mentality I feel I can speak well on. I am a lifelong liberal and a lifelong independent, both by choice. To me being a liberal has always meant being open minded and thus better done by being a political independent...open minded to the prospect that right and necessary and possible can come from any direction. "But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a Liberal." JFK
If you are not unwavering in that ideal of open-mindedness, you are easily susceptible to the herd mentality, susceptible to the tendency to judge right by affiliation, susceptible to closing your mind to the possibility of being wrong; and nothing in my opinion is more dangerous than that combination.
So while the internet and blogs in particular are a wonderful place for open dialogue and discourse, it is also plagued by the herd mentality, of close-mindedness, ergo a lack of full thought. A wonderful line in a post by Fallen Monk sums it up poetically and succinctly. It's like "a bunch of ducks trying to fuck a football."
So in these trying times I beseech all, regardless of what pole you stand closest to, to keep an open mind, to base your opinions as much on fact and as little on emotional reaction as possible; otherwise, it defeats the purpose of this whole idea of open discussion as a means of change and progress.
government politics philosophy independent liberal