the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Is the Blogosphere More Democratic or Republican?

Note:  From the comments I have already received on this post, I can tell that this post doesn’t really work — at least the way it was intended.  Now I know why people avoid writing boring political posts.  What I was trying for — and didn’t succeed — was to broaden the terms of liberal and conservative into ways that don’t necessarily follow political lines.  So, just because you like Sarah Palin does not automatically make you “conservative” in the way you act in the world on a daily basis.    It just makes you Conservative politically if you have her beliefs on abortion, etc. 

Is the Blogosphere more Democratic or Republican?  Liberal or Conservative?  These are the type of questions I ask myself when I wake up on a Tuesday morning.

I am looking for something more than the party politics of Liberal/Democratic and Conservative/Republican.    I want to think about the core ideologies behind the labels.  I am going to be overly-simplistic here.  Feel free to call me an idiot for trying to make sense out of this topic.


Respect for Authority (tradition, family, values)
Personal Responsibility (the free market, small government)


Freedom (openness, rights of underdogs, lack of tradition, free speech)
Social Responsibility (social programs, public schools, striving for equality, big government)

Who do I consider a liberal?  My mother.

On Sunday, my mother and I took a walk to the local Catholic Church, which has a flea market each week.  It is a pretty lame flea market.  It is mostly locals selling their crap.  We never buy anything, but it is fun to look at the old toys, albums from the 1970’s, touristy dishes bought on vacation at Niagara Falls, etc.  It reminds me of  the joy of reading blogs, getting a chaotic slice of each person’s life and history.  What did this woman do at Niagara Falls?  Why did she buy this plate?  Was it a gift?  Was the trip an unpleasant one so she is now selling it to overcome the lifelong trauma?

As we were walking to the flea market, we passed a yeshiva for young religious Jewish boys.  We were surprised that they had school on Sunday.  It must have been lunchtime because they were outside in the playground, running around and acting like energetic boys.  If they weren’t wearing yarmulkes, you would have no idea they were Jewish.  The games and rough-housing was the same as in every other school.

My mother noticed that one boy was sitting by himself in the corner.

“How sad.  I feel bad for him.  No one is playing with him.”

I found her statement odd, because she was reading so much into the scenario.

“How do you know this?”  I asked.  “He could be eating his lunch, or tired.  Or maybe he broke his foot last week so he needs to sit.”

“No, he clearly wants to play.  And the others are not nice.  They should ask him to play.  But you know who really is at fault here.  The teacher.”

A young rabbi was standing by the gate, watching all his students.

“He should get the others to play with him.” said my mother.

My mother is a liberal who clearly believes in the government (the teacher) getting involved.  She is registered as an Independent.  She even flirted with voting for McCain because she is worried about Obama’s inexperience.  But in ACTION – and her daily THOUGHT process, she is “LIBERAL.”

Sophia is a registered Republican.  Every once in a while, people email me asking, “How could you MARRY a Republican?”  The truth is she is very LIBERAL in the way she acts towards others. She is not anti-minority or anti-gay or anti-abortion.  She is conservative in her view of personal responsibility, but I have noticed that that has even changed through the years.  After dealing with our crappy and expensive health insurance, I think she is much more in favor of some sort of socialized health plan.

If a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged, a liberal is a conservative who has Pacificare for their medical insurance.

Diane of Of the Princess and the Pea recently had an experience where her young daughter and her friend revealed their political leanings when they met a homeless man.  One girl wanted to help him with a social program.  The other was cynical, thinking he would abuse the system, and not get helped at all. 


In July, right before the BlogHer conference in San Francisco, I read this popular post by Schnozzfest. In the post she addressed all the shy introverts who were attending the conference, trying to motivate them to overcome their wall-flowerness.  Rather than getting angry at the popular girls “ignoring them,” she suggests that they should get some balls and be more friendly.   It was a very well-written post, but I was in a bad mood that day, so I wrote a semi-obnoxious comment:

This was a powerful and well-thought out post. As someone who fights his own insecurities, I’m going to copy this onto my laptop, because – like you say — this is about more than BlogHer.


…I find myself feeling a little uncomfortable with the thesis. I come from a long tradition of bleeding heart liberals, and your message sounds very much like that of a “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” conservative. In any social environment there are going to be hierarchies and social groups. Of course, it is up to the insecure to fight their “high school” fears and speak up. But I would like to hear from the “cool kids” in this imaginary high school. What is their responsibility to others? Do you just talk amongst yourselves, or do you reach out to a newbie? I strongly agree that people should stop acting like victims. This is an excellent message to send to those who are shy and insecure: stand up for yourself! This is something I work on all the time. I just hope that everyone who comments on this post saying, “I wish I said this” will ALSO take the time to reach out, since we are supposedly a “community of bloggers.” While it is the individual’s responsibility to put herself “out there,” there is nothing wrong with going to the wallflower hiding behind the plant and saying hello, especially when we’ve all been in that position before.

Do you see how much I am like my mother?   If you go to Schnozzfest’s site, you can see her reasoned response.

Can we really think about political labels such as liberal and conservative out of the political arena?   Would it add anything to the typical over-heated political discussions we usually have if we acknowledged that some Democrats act more conservatively and some Republicans are more liberal in the way they deal with others?   Some might think Lieberman was a traitor to his party to speak at the DNC, and others as the ultimate “liberal” in his blowing off the authority of the Party and following his beliefs, no matter how unpopular.  

In some ways, the blogosphere is Democratic/Liberal — not only in politics — but in form.  Anyone can start a blog.  There is freedom of speech.  There is lack of censorship.  The “little guy” is given a chance to speak out against the powerful.  There is respect for all races, religions, and beliefs.  There are a great many grassroot communities online where members care about each other and help each other learn and grow.

Of course, most of the blogosphere grew up during the Bush administration, so it isn’t surprising that there is also strong Republican/Conservative bent to this imaginary world – especially in the way it operates.  There is a whole lot of focus on making money, concern for own niche about others, old boy and girl networks, marketing, corporate sponsorship, links, authority, the free market, etc.  The white faces, corporate sponsorship, private parties, and swag of the RNC reminded me of… BlogHer. 

So, if you had to describe the leanings of the blogosphere,  would you say it leans more left or right — to community first or a system of haves and have nots?   Or is everyone a little bit “liberal” and “conservative,” leaving behind the politics of the terms, in the way we live our lives both online and in the real world?


  1. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Awesome post. And much food for thought.

  2. Hilly

    First of all – great post, Neil…really great.

    Secondly, I actually attended that introverts panel at BlogHer to support Karl and Monty, not because I am an introvert. I actually spoke for a second, talking about the extroverts point of view and I remember saying that I am the type of person that will SEEK OUT shy and introverted people to make them feel more welcome. Of course, I very much rock a liberal attitude all around.

    In my corner of the PRB, people tend to be more liberal thinkers. I can’t use “all” or “none” statements but it seems like almost everyone I know is a Democrat as well. But then again, don’t we gravitate towards like minded people in all walks of life?

    I think we do.

  3. Hilly

    Ack! I forgot to say that I would have seen that playground situation the same exact way your Mom did!

  4. Mary Beth

    I’m waiting for the Repubocat or Demolican parties to be born. Like good and evil, I think there is a little liberal and a little conservative in each of us. It’s just the percentages that are off:)

  5. Memarie Lane

    I would definitely say that the vast majority of blogs I come across are very left leaning. I’m square in the middle myself, though upside-down. I think we should just get rid of the whole system and start over. The whole thing sucks ass.

    On a more personal level, I do think more introverted people have a responsibility to pull themselves up if they’re going to complain about it. I used to be very introverted. I remember the exact moment I decided to get over it, and when I did so I found that the people I’d considered snotty and elitist were really just outgoing and friendly. I’d been too intimidated and envious to see them in the right light.

  6. Peeved Michelle

    I want one of each: Freedom and Personal Responsibility. I don’t care about Respect for Authority or Social Responsibility.

  7. mommypie

    Fantastic post. Watching the tweets during the conventions has certainly been entertaining. To say the least!

  8. followthatdog

    Funny, I always have this assumption that people are more similar to my own political leanings than they are. I’ll read a blog for a long time then it will dawn on me that they are pretty damn conservative and I feel almost let down by that fact. I don’t think there is a specific leaning either way, both sides are well represented. I do have to say I was stunned by the vast number of home schoolers and Christian women who blog. Not sure why that caught me off guard, but it did

  9. Kathy

    I hadn’t seen the Schnozzfest’s post about introverts at BlogHer until, now. I didn’t attend BlogHer, but it had nothing to do with introversion or intimidation. (Though I do wish A-listers would at least acknowledge that there is a blogging hierarchy.)

    “The white faces, corporate sponsorship, private parties, and swag of the RNC reminded me of… BlogHer. “

    I just deleted my response to your original question, “Is the blogosphere liberal or conservative” after going back and reading that. Point taken.

  10. brandon

    in the blogiverse, I have found that liberals are from mars, independents are from venus and conservatives are from somewhere nearabouts uranus.

  11. Neil

    By the way, feel free to criticize everything I said here. I tried to be clever here it using the terms liberal and conservative, but realize that this post makes little sense. What I was going for — and not sure if it worked — is that you can be a Democrat and still be a selfish jerk and a Republican and care about humanity — because action always says more than political identity.

  12. natalie

    i was raised to be conservative in my thought for sure. moving away from america has changed a lot of my thinking though. first of all it made me stand on my own two feet a lot more than i ever did before. even though i was 33 and married for 11 years when we moved to turkey i always had my family and friends around me. i rarely questioned what i had been taught. taking myself out of that bubble has really opened my eyes. i look at our political scene and have to agree with memarie lane. it seems like scrapping it and starting over is our only hope for real change. i don’t expect that to happen though!

  13. catnip

    A few weeks ago I would have told you that the majority of the bloggers were liberal. Since the Palin nomination though, lots of conservatives have suddenly come out of the woodwork. Including some bloggers I never would have thought were conservative at all. Evened it out, I’d say.

  14. Dana

    Oh goodie! You said you were going to write this annoying post, and now you’ve done it. Good for you!

  15. Neil

    Dana, and I shouldn’t have. You told me it was going to be annoying, and I should have believed you.

  16. mp

    republican.. always have been..although I’m more of a liberal republican.. I support gay marriage/civial union etc

  17. the slackmistress

    Neil, I love this post.

    I should probably start out “some of my best friends are Republicans.” (I’m a bleeding heart liberal, but advocate personal responsibility.) That said, my Republican friends are fiscal conservatives, not right-wing conservatives who believe in less government. We actually agree on a lot.

    I think there are a lot of social conservative Republicans in the blogosphere, it’s just that we don’t “hang out” (for lack of a better term) with them. In searching for an Obama picture (for the Hot Blogger vid I was making) I ran across TONS of anti-Obama blogs.

    And I think it was Tom Wolfe in Bonfire of the Vanities who said “a Democrat is a Republican who’s been arrested.” 🙂

  18. MammaLoves

    I think I get where you were going with this. I think the Blogosphere is a little of both. It has provided me with a place to speak my mind and yet I understand that I’m often singing to the choir. That’s not to say there aren’t other voices out there, but it’s not the utopian society I had imagined before I attended my first blogging conference. The hierarchies and segmentation that occurs in every community exist in ours as well…and that was a bit disappointing at first. On the plus side, I do find that we are a bit less judgmental of each other because we all understand that weird thing in us that brought us to blogging.

    I don’t know if I answered your question, but I liked thinking about it.

    Great post Neil!

  19. Chris

    This is good. Two years ago I stopped using the terms liberal and conservative to describe – anything. The judgment attached to each word was too charged. Unexpected negative reactions, regardless of the word, caused me to re-explain myself over and over – usually with me asking for the opportunity to “try again” using different words as descriptors. People get derailed – as evident in the comments – not a bad thing, just interesting. The automatic political assumptions associated with both words are nearly impossible to avoid. Some people want to identify what camp your in so they can process if you’re still relationship worthy. BTW not that your intent was for your readers to delve into politics, but intelligent, well-spoken, logical, compassionate, decent people exist in both camps for reasons important to them. (Can you tell I’m a registered Independent?) Bashing bores me.

    To answer your question, I believe we’re all a little bit “liberal” and “conservative” per your non-political definitions.

    Thank you for the opportunity to “Say It!” That little button is supportive, encouraging, helpful and kind when I feel insecure about a thought. Again, thank you.

  20. Neil

    Maybe I should change the title to liberal and conservative rather than democratic and republican to be clearer.

  21. vodkamom

    can I JUST say that anyone who DOESN’T support a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body….makes me sick.

    that’s all i’m sayin’…(does that make me a democrat??)

    great post, by the way…

  22. Neil

    Vodkamom — So is that the main difference between the two parties for you? Abortion?

    I am sure this is true for many of us. The fear of the President picking some for the Supreme Court who is conservative politically.

    Maybe the system of picking a judge for the Supreme Court should be changed because it completely politicizes each election nowadays.

  23. Twenty Four At Heart

    I think it depends on who you read in this great big blogosphere. It seems more Democratic to me, but maybe not. I have beliefs that belong in both parties, but I am definitely more left than right. I’m just some crazy chick from California though. We’re all wild out here, right?

  24. DaveX

    I don’t know, man. In my esteem, law is something like tooth decay– the further it is allowed to proceed, the worse the problem becomes for the system as whole.

    I support the implementation of a single worldwide language, as well as the invasion of non-aggressive nations for the purpose of food/water/medical/educational/infastructural support, total freedom of information, and animal life rights. I don’t support voting, protesting, or acts betraying the so-called “golden rule.”

    I try to live each day under my own rules, with the idea that leading is done by example, not by word.

  25. TRO

    Actually abortion IS the key difference between the the liberal and conservative movements – whether you call them Democrats or Republicans or whatever. For example, if Sarah Palin was pro-choice and a liberal she would be the queen of the Democrat Ball, but that fact that she is pro-life and conservative makes her a demon spawn from hell. You wouldn’t have to change anything but those two things about her and liberals would be telling Obama to put her in as VP.

    Vodkamom’s comment about how it makes her sick that anyone who doesn’t support a woman’s right to choose “makes her sick” shows just how central it is.

    Most conservatives are not anti-abortion per se. What they want is for the people to decide this issue – at the state level – and not appointed judges who legislate from the bench and who are not accountable to the people. I am pro-life and that is the way I feel.

    Neil, you said that “the fear of the President picking some for the Supreme Court who is conservative politically” but I am not sure what that means. Conservatives want judges who strickly interpret the Constitution and, again, don’t legislate from the bench by making new laws. Liberals want the opposite, usually because they know they cannot win with votes. The gay marriage issue in California is a perfect example. The CA Supreme Court made it legal despite the fact that an overwhelming number of Californians don’t believe it should be. Whatever your view on gay marriage is, it should worry any citizen when a few judges can weild power like that, because the next time it may be an issue you don’t agree with.

    Kudos to you for doing a great political post although I was greatly insulted by the “boring political post” zing 😛

  26. Astrogirl

    Hmm. I wasn’t going to post, but then the Pollyanna in me decided she wanted to, and she won the coin toss, so here goes.

    I am currently going through a very energetic period of debate with my husband, a libertarian (no, I’m not sure what that means, either). I’ve discovered that letting myself frame things in terms of Liberal or Republican shuts me into a box that it’s very hard to get out of. I think that our natural human tendencies are to label things; it makes it easier for us to make our way in the world, and normally it’s beneficial. But I have found that using those labels to categorize other people’s (or even my own) beliefs is less productive than just asking people what they think about specific issues. I think that at the root of it all, most of us (I’m a pollyanna, not a complete idiot) want people to be healthy, and to be able to take care of themselves and their family. We sometimes disagree on the methods, but if we can realize that we have common goals, it gets easier to work together to achieve them.

    Ok, sermon over 🙂

  27. margalit

    I don’t think anyone could be more of a liberal than me. Brought up by socialists who were brought up by Communists, I’m lean severely left. But your post caught me unaware. I hadn’t thought of the blogosphere as either conservative or liberal, but upon reading what you said about Blogher… man, you are right spot on! I hadn’t put it together but now I see why I don’t fit into that mold. They ARE republicans in disguise. Brilliant idea! Absolutely brilliant. Because I’m older, and more left leaning, I do resent the constant attention to branding and money and the whole white suburban hierarchy that the mommy bloggers represent. I can’t believe how shallow some of the thinking is on social services. It’s the ‘pull youself up by your bootstraps’ ideology without understanding that it takes support and revenue to pull yourself up. I read a post on Blogher where someone was railing against universal health care and couldn’t understand why people couldn’t pay their own way. Um, if you’e living day to day, check to check, just to cover your rent, heat, and food, you’re not going to have money left over for a health care savings account. People are so complacent about being middle class they can’t put themselves into other people’s shoes. They have no compassion. They are REPUBLICANS. Ugh

  28. TRO

    “They have no compassion. They are REPUBLICANS. Ugh”

    I am a conservative who is going to vote Republican this year – at least on the national ticket, I will probably vote Democratic for my State Senator since she is a great lady, and I have plenty of compassion. I just don’t think it is compassionate to put people into the horror that would be national health care.

  29. Neil

    Margalit — I’m not saying what I said to belittle Republicans. There is a good argument that this pull up by your bootstraps attitude is more effective than liberal policies. Maybe that boy at the yeshiva would get more out of pushing himself into the game himself rather than having the teacher do it for him.

    I was just saying that you could be gung-ho for Democratic policies but still think rather conservatively in your life. That maybe there is too much separation between what is said and what is done.

    And I just use the BlogHer name as a strawman because I know so many people with them. They are more socially-conscious than many others.

  30. teahouseblossom

    I don’t know that I have much to add to what the previous commenters have’s funny…I feel like I read your blog every day but there are always 30+ commenters who get here before I do! I’d call myself a conservative Democrat. The Husband is “conservative” but has grown disgusted with the modern-day Republican Party, so he’s registered as an Independent.

    Our votes will probably cancel each other out this November.

  31. Jane

    Neil, you lost me at your descriptions of Republicans and Liberals, and I wonder if there is not some confusion — even nationally — on what these labels represent, because both parties have seen their core philosophies increasingly corrupted.

    the only “small” in Bush’s government was what he did for average citizens. He’s run up a nine trillion dollar deficit that will take decades to correct, while he’s given billions of dollars in contract money to Kellogg & Root and Halliburton — both of which were allowed to get away with not accounting for millions.

    When the type of neocons that support Bush’s brand of Republicanism speak about personal responsibility, what they are actually proposing is something of a feudal land, where the rich are supported and where paupers are created and left to their own devices.

    Likewise, the values of liberalism have been used for so many “underdog” causes, often at the expense of logic or common sense. As a liberal and a Jew, I’ve been shocked to read a number of essays that seek to sympathize with suicide bombers. I want to peel the label of “liberal” off of essays like that and tag them with something else altogether, but I, and the rest of the liberal public, don’t get that choice. Others can corrupt liberalism, as they have conservatism, and what becomes popular becomes pervasive.

    To answer your question, though, I think the majority of people I associate with on the net are largely rational liberals and conservatives alike. They’re not out breaking into university labs to set the monkeys loose, but they’ll send money to the ASPCA and won’t knowingly buy detergent that was once rubbed in a dog’s eyes. They want good schools and effective programs, but don’t want to sink money into endless pits. They want accountability for people, but also in government. Most of all, they want to be happy, and part of that is having opportunities and being able to afford the basics.

  32. Neil

    So, if the core values of liberals, conservatives, Democrats, and Republicans have all been twisted — what is the real difference between the parties? Is the real difference the religious oriented wing of the Republicans, who are obsessed with abortion and “family values?”

    You are right about Bush — he was a lousy conservative. Many traditional Reagan Republicans really dislike him for that. Just like Bill Clinton was a disappointment to traditional liberals.

  33. Jane

    It depends on whose definitions you are using, as you pointed out. Early Republicans were very much FOR separation of church and state, and I think many loyalists to Repub. philosophy are shocked at how “religious” their party has become, and how intrusive it seeks to be in matters of family. . .all the while having government being led by corporate interests.

    The real difference can’t be known anymore, since the original ethos of parties have been corrupted. That’s why I say the popular has become pervasive. Who’s a conservative that holds truest to the original ideals? Who’s the liberal counterpart? When is THAT debate?

  34. Christine

    When I read your post, Neil, it was all I could do to not weep with joy…you articulated far better than I EVER could how I feel about this two party system.

    If I had seen that little boy…a lot of things would have crossed my mind, including what your mom said, and what you said.

    I also would have thought that perhaps he chose to be alone…maybe he just needed some down time and his peers knew that and respecting it.

    Like you said, the lines aren’t always clear.

    Yet, our policial system in the US is an either/or situation, and US vs. THEM choice. They are bad. We are good. Period. End of discussion.

    I am socially liberal, fiscally conservative. I’ve been told those two aren’t compatible. I HAVE to be ONE or the OTHER. Wha?

    I’m pro-choice (although I wouldn’t chose one for myself, unless my life was in danger). Pro gay rights (why would two people loving each other be harmful to the ‘family unit’?). Fine with others having handguns legally (but I don’t want one near me or my kids). Cool with Nevada legalizing prostitution and gambling (except for dropping a few quarters in a slot machine, I’m not into either).

    As to fiscally conservative: I am more than willing to help anyone in need. I am thrilled that some of my hard earned cash does so. NOT so thrilled that, for example, Ted Turner, receives millions in farm subsidies (dozens more percentage-wise than the average farmer) because he has a bison ranch.

    I’m also fine with anyone who takes the opposite stand on any of those issues, or ANY issue. I’m a woman who can CHOSE her political leanings; is a woman’s right to CHOSE only relegated to her being pro-choice?

    I think it speaks to your point quite well the twitter-versy over Palin’s acceptance of the nomination, her being a woman with a 4 mos. old special needs baby, with a pregnant teenager too boot. I was blown away at how many “liberal” tweeters said that she crossed the line…that it is all well and good for a woman to be in the workplace, but there comes a time when being a mom should take precidence over a career. That she, as a mom of 5, and soon to be a Grandmother, had no right to seek a position so powerful and demanding.

    I think with a two party system we don’t have a political spectrum; we have a circle where there is overlap but no-one wants to acknowledge it.

    Oh, as to the blogoshere? No idea!

  35. JChevais

    I admit to knowing nothing about the american two party system (There’s an Elephant in there somewhere, right? What’s the Democrat animal?…) Hell, I didn’t know alot about the Canadian political parties either when I lived there. Progressive Conservative (WTF?)being one of them. My mom is a PC and I was a Liberal. I’m not even sure why I was a Liberal anymore, but it probably had to do with something and not just because my mom is a PC. But it could have been. She and I didn’t agree on a lot and certainly not politics.

    Living in France now, the party system is quite different. First of all, there are a hell of a lot of them…. I actually wrote a post about it right before the French elections last year ( if interested).

    The Liberal Conservative party won. From what I can see by your definitions above, they amalgamate:

    Respect for Authority (values)
    Personal Responsibility (the free market, small government)


    Freedom (openness, rights of underdogs, lack of tradition, free speech)

    And a toughening up of the Social programs which have been dragging the French system under.

    So. Considering the French voted for Liberal Conservatives which, generally, are probably considered more Republican than Democrat though they are hands down and absolutely against religion in the government… And also considering the way the Bush government handled things in the U.S. and internationally… one of those things being the humiliation of the French in terms of Iraq… you can just imagine that most people here are hoping that the people in america will “come to their senses” and vote Obama.

  36. JChevais

    Actually, on posting that, I had this sudden revelation on how French citizens moan about the Liberal Conservative president which may be why they want Obama to win (but since the French moan about abso-freaking-everything, it’s hard to tell). It could be a reaction to the fact that they don’t like their own president.

    Personally? I think the Liberal Conservative had to win because the opposing party who had a chance: The Socialists would have dragged the country even further into the proverbial caca. The current government is that little boy with his thumb in place to keep the dam from drowning everyone. And honestly? The Socialists never actually had anything to say or things they wanted to do. They just reacted to what the other guy was doing.

    So maybe the moaning French want Obama because their own, not quite Democrat but the closest thing party, was so freaking lame and would have screwed up the government even more.

    Oh hell. Politics. I should stay away from even trying to speculate on it.

  37. gorillabuns

    Man, I’m not touching this subject with a ten foot fork. I have found everyone else’s opinion is far more important than mine and in turn, makes me want to shoot them.

  38. SciFi Dad

    Great post, Neil; definitely some food for thought.

    My first instinct was to say the blogosphere is liberal, but once I thought about it a little, I realized that *my* blogosphere is liberal because of who I choose to read. If I encounter a conservative (in a political sense) writer, I don’t immediately turn away, but for the most part the hard-core conservatives are not open to debate/discussion, making reading their blog an exercise in futility since commenting with a contrary point of view only exacerbates the problem.

  39. TRO

    If I encounter a conservative (in a political sense) writer, I don’t immediately turn away, but for the most part the hard-core conservatives are not open to debate/discussion, making reading their blog an exercise in futility since commenting with a contrary point of view only exacerbates the problem.

    That’s funny, I get the same impression when I read liberal political blogs.

  40. Irina

    To be honest with you, I don’t think being introverted/extraverted is necessarily so much about personal responsibility or compassion as it is in simple difference in personalities which leads to different levels of comfort level. Introverts are not necessarily “shy” so much as they are less comfortable striking up conversations in large groups of people; they tend to prefer one-on-one socialization or smaller, more intimate circles. Extraverts are more energized by the excitement of large gatherings. I think it’s nice when people learn to adapt to new/difficult situation, but the reality of these personality differences is much more complicated than just a simple matter of being a little more responsible or a little more compassionate. Neither is always that either or, in fact, necessary.

  41. peachy

    in the case of this post/comments, margalit, you are my hero.

  42. apathy lounge

    I think that Democrats/Liberals DO endorse family and values. It’s just that we believe two women or two men can lovingly raise an adopted kid (with no other options for a home life) and Conservatives believe that gays and lesbians should burn in hell (and the adopted kid is out of luck). As for Big/Small gov’t. I think you’d have to ask yourself how small our government is right now under GWBush & Co. Maybe instead of Big Government, we should label conservatives as the Big Business party. I’m just saying.

  43. TRO

    Conservatives believe that gays and lesbians should burn in hell (and the adopted kid is out of luck).

    Again, that’s not true of all conservatives – or even most. In fact, they did a survey of the delegates at the Republican National Convention and the majority supported gay unions.

    People should really look this stuff up and study it before making statements not based on fact.

  44. pia

    I used to split my vote as I had a great Republican congressman who was gerrymandered out of office

    My first year–year and a half of blogging i hated it as I didn’t realize that you could say something factual like “The First Amendment has five parts” lay out the five parts and be challenged

    Blogging was never the feel good thing for me it was for o many others and I do feel sad about that

    But then I could make just about everybody dislike me with this remark

    I’m an adoptee and as one can’t help but wonder why Palin or any pundit didn’t bring that up

    It doesn’t fit the Republican agenda of family values or keeping the kid in the family nor is it really pro choice–unless the kid is adopted by a Gay couple or single person

    I am stereotyping as things are just so out of hand stupid to me

  45. TRO


    I’m not sure I understand your point. It’s always been the position of pro-lifers that it is much better to put a child up for adoption than kill it in the womb. Granted, there is some hypocrisy here in that they don’t believe that gay couples are the best adoptive parents, but that is changing very rapidly as it should.

    My personal belief is that adoption is far better for many reasons than abortion and that, while a mother and father are the best environment to place a child (assuming they are good people of course), a gay couple can also raise a child well. I happen to have a dear lesbian friend who is raising two boys with her long-time companion and they are doing a wonderful job so I know it to be the reality.

  46. apathy lounge


    I guess when you say “people” you mean me. I live in the South and religious fundamentalists (as well as those who represent them in the Senate) DO NOT support the rights of gays to do anything as crazy as getting married or raising children. I do know of what I speak. Interesting that so many people at the RNC who–if your assertion is true–support gay rights would be so insanely enthusiastic about a VP nominee who doesn’t share their views. Maybe conservatives where you live don’t have their heads up their asses. That’s a phenomenon I’d like to see, because down here the picture isn’t quite so pretty or sophisiticated.

  47. apathy lounge

    And? I honestly believe that if men were the life-givers on this planet…we would not EVEN be having a debate about the right to choose. There wouldn’t even be a debate.

  48. Neil

    TRO – Apathy —

    Whoa, Whoa, Whoa! Before you start killing each other, you should realize that you are probably closer in thought than you think. If fact, in my next screenplay based on your characters, after this big fight, you end up drunk and in bed with each other — and then the next morning, one of you sneaks out to go the big “political debate” at the local community college, where you are representing your own party — and suddenly realize that HE/SHE is your DEBATE OPPONENT — the ONE you slept with the NIGHT BEFORE! Oh, no!

    (don’t worry, despite obstacles, there is a happy ending)

  49. Neil

    Oops, sorry. Go back to the arguments. Just a little humor break.

  50. TRO

    I live in the South, too. Born in Mississippi, lived a few years in Arkansas, traveled to every Southern state on more than one occasion, and now living in Tennessee. And while there are plenty of people who do not support gay marriage down here (rights is a totally different thing – I know of no one who doesn’t support rights when asked), there are plenty of us that do.

    I am Catholic, but my in-laws are Southern Baptist, as are most of my relatives on my father’s side of the family. We have discussed this often and I never get any of the radical views you seem to run into. Like I said, most of them do not support gay marriage, but gay unions are not that big an issue with them. And even if they were, I have to tell you that the Republican Party is not controlled by the religious right like you believe. If it were we would have Huckabee as the nominee or at least the VP nominee.

    Oh, and I am a man so most all of your generalizations just got blown to heck.

    And, Neil, bless you bud, but I am not angry. I can’t speak for Apathy, but I’m not remotely upset. It just looks that way because this is a very direct, compact way of communicating. Maybe if I put smiley faces all over my comments it will look better?


  51. apathy lounge

    Not angry. Just puzzled as to why someone like Palin is above reproach. I mean…you say that the Republicans aren’t controlled by the Religious Right and yet look at who McCain chose. A woman who is not only the enemy of female reproductive rights but who also is less than sympathetic when it comes to the rights of women who have been sexually assaulted. Not only–in her purview–should those women/girls be forced to endure 9 months of agony in order to carry the evidence of a violent assault, but also give birth to a criminal’s unwanted/unasked for baby. Even if no pregnancy resulted, Wasilla’s sexual assault victims were forced to pay for their own rape kits/medical examinations at $1,200 a pop…under Palin’s stint as Mayor…even when no other cities observed such a practice. Why this doesn’t bother more people is beyond me. People can make all the cases they want to for being Pro-Life (as they call it), but until there’s the slightest possibility that your life could be railroaded by a pregnancy by rape (or–God forbid–you have to make the choice between surgery to save your life or seeing a pregnancy through to completion) you just don’t get it. It’s easy to make the rules when they don’t apply to you. Like I said, if men were the ones who had this responsibility/obligation, there would be no argument.

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