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Thursday, December 16, 2004

My Personal Manifesto

I have said more than once that I felt neither the need nor the desire to convince anyone of anything. I have my beliefs, my opinions, my likes and dislikes, and they are mine. I do not wear any colored ribbons; I do not put bumper stickers on my cars; I do not get into debates with those whose opinions differ from mine. I have said more than once that such debates serve no purpose. People's opinions are very rarely changed by listening to or engaging in debate. The most that can generally be hoped for is that no feelings are hurt. In many cases, people become angry or frustrated.

Why, then, have I been blogging, in part, about ideas which can be politically or socially divisive? I have come to the point where I can now say "I don't know" as an answer. At first, I might have believed that I blogged about my personal opinions as an experiment, or that I wanted to engage in discourse with like-minded individuals. Never did I want to receive negative comments on any post of mine (not that I have received many), nor did I want to debate with anyone who disagreed with me. Did I fancy myself a pundit? An Andrew Sullivan? A Glenn Reynolds? A NICK GILLESPIE??? I no longer know. For the most part, my political postings have devolved to re-posting articles I've read elsewhere.

As a member of BlogExplosion, I have been surfing other members' blogs. I have come across all manners of blogs: mommy blogs, knitting blogs, kid blogs, what-i-did-today blogs, but most of all political blogs. Blogs on the left, on the right... blogs pro-Bush, anti-Bush... pro-America, anti-America. Very occasionally I would come across a blog with a political sensibility similar to mine. On a very few of those, I offered an occasional comment. And now, in the midst of what I essentially considered a safe haven, I have, predictably, encountered opposition to my views. This should have been anticipated, alas I did not do so. And upon receiving such opposition, I experienced those feelings I described earlier: frustration at being forced to defend my position, followed shortly by the realization that I had no desire to produce such a defense. My position is mine and does not need defending. I do not need my opinion to be someone else's. Hence I do not need to post my opinion. On this blog or on anyone else's.

I hereby cease to be an active member of the opinion-oriented blogosphere. I will no longer be posting articles expressing political ideas, nor will I be commenting on others' political articles. Since my political ideas, opinions, and philosophy are fairly well-formed and built on sound foundations, I have also decided to (at least temporarily) cease perusing political opinion sites and to try to essentially stop thinking about things political at all, as politics has essentially no bearing on my day to day life.

I doubt that I have any regular readers, since I am an irregular poster, and I know my site traffic is not very high. So I am very well aware that this announcement is as self-indulgent as my original decision to start this blog in the first place. Nonetheless, I felt the desire to put a punctuation mark here.

I may, in the future, blog about innocuous things: entertainment, humor, technology. But I am officially burnt out on politics.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

POSTSCRIPT: Lest anyone think otherwise, no one particular post or response led to this decision. It accumulated exhaustion from the overall process.


  • Hi David.

    I apologize if my post on my blog regarding your comments aggrivated you, It was not a personal criticism of you or your ideals, but rather a discussion about the different mindsets people can have.

    As you say what you believe in is yours, im certainly not trying to change that or take it away.

    You have made a wise choice though, politics is best a subject to be avoided unless you have a stomach for it.
    It is not enjoyable.

    Best of luck with the blogging.


    By Blogger Dave, at 10:35 PM  

  • As recent regular reader of your blog, I have to say that I'll miss it. But I understand and respect your decision. Good luck.

    By Blogger Happy Curmudgeon, at 11:25 AM  

  • Hi David,

    Yes, politics certainly does create bad feelings. You are quite right - one's own good opinion matters more than anyone elses' and no-one has to defend their thoughts to strangers.Many find opinions that are contrary to their own threatening, and a license to throw ad-hominens around about persons they don't know from Adam's housecat. As I said previously, someone more or less threatened to kill me about 1 year ago because of political differences, and there is a fine line between being passionate about one's ideas and being a mouth-foaming zealot.

    I have also found that anyone who defends smaller government is roundly abused. Libertarianism has few friends. I value your encouragment and thoughtful,intelligent comments on my site and hope you will still contribute. I have read Sciabarra's latest on foreign policy - now there is someone who has been roundly vilified!

    Kind regards,
    Freudian Slippers

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:21 PM  

  • Dont go!

    By Blogger mquest, at 12:21 AM  

  • You should start using a pseudonym, like create the Pat Tillman blog. See how long it takes to get lots of fan mail.

    By Blogger Tim Swanson, at 12:41 AM  

  • Don't think I've posted here yet, but I've had you blogmarked for a while. It was good to read some of your opinions. It is a journal type of medium, so it really doesn't matter if others are reading it, for the most part. Anyway, if you'd like some ideas for other types of posts, check out my new Best of.
    - J. J.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:19 PM  

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