Yesterday commenter “T” wrote:
One of the things that attracted me to this site years ago was the ability to agree to disagree and to use that disagreement to sharpen and refine my own thinking on a topic. Quite frankly, this seems to have all gone to Hell as proponents of either side just can’t seem to get away from snark attacks.
The two schools of thought seem to be A) Hillary is death warmed over and will lead the country to perdition. Trump may not. And B) Trump will lead the country to perdition and discredit conservatives. Hillary is bad, but not end-of times bad. Is it possible that the truth may lie somewhere in between?
We have allowed these two faulty Pied Pipers to lead us to vehemence on a site known for its considered discussion. To quote Walt Kelly: “We have met the enemy and he is us!”
Well, it has gotten much worse, not just here but all around the blogosphere, and in non-cyber conversations as well, and is one of the many profoundly distressing phenomena this election season. In my case, there’s a very small plus side, which is that my friends I are are mostly united in dislike of Trump. But we differ mightily on what we think of Hillary, and I think my angst and my dilemma are therefore far greater than theirs.
My answer to “T”—and to everyone else who bemoans the former halcyon days here—is that I feel your pain (and I’m not being sarcastic there, either). But believe it or not, this site is about a million times better than the vitriol you can find at most other sites that don’t do as much policing of comments.
The Trump candidacy and the 2016 Trump vs. Clinton election have effectively poisoned discourse all around the right side of the blogosphere, while the left celebrates. People are exceedingly upset and emotional, and the viciousness is incredible at most other sites (except blogs that have become complete Trumpian echo chambers, which is a great many). Disagreement and discussion is fine here—we have a mix of original Trumpers, enthusiastic late-adopters of Trump, reluctant Trumpers, uncertains (that’s me), and NeverTrumpers (and every now and then a liberal Democrat comes to visti, too), and all are welcome if they remain (relatively) civil and (relatively) cerebral.
Compared to most other blogs these days, this one is a veritable Peaceable Kingdom.