Tuesday, July 03, 2001

Dear Anonymous

Recently I received an anonymous comment on one of my old posts, not surprisingly one which was political in nature. Evidently the person was either trawling through old posts or else stumbled on it by accident from somewhere else. Anyways, here's what he said:

Cause that 50 million without health care don't count do they? I think any of Americas founding fathers would be appalled at the sate of affairs America has slipped into. A society that is no longer about the community but just focused on individual gain.

A more accurate depiction of the situation would be Obama and Uncle Sam holding hands. Unless you see true American Patriotisim as killing your fellow citizens for corprate gain.
This is an entirely valid point of view, regardless of whether I agree or disagree. So why does this poster feel the need to hide behind a mask of anonymity? Anonymous criticism is like yelling "liar" during the State of the Union address, or badmouthing the boss in Rolling Stone- truth or not, it's out of order.
Anyone who really knows me will be aware that I welcome criticism; but I also feel it should be common courtesy to let me know who I'm talking to. I know some people are worried about protecting their identities on "Teh internets, " but simply providing a first name will show me you're at least willing to sign off on the things you say. Anyway, it's not like I'm going to hunt you down like some kind of Jihad Joe. Believe it or not, I'm actually a pretty friendly guy!

I feel that this one of the great things that sets us apart as a nation is our ability to disagree and to converse rationally about our differences without blowing each other's heads off! In fact, Reason is a truly Divine gift, which helps to set us apart us from the animals. So why can't we use it, and be willing to engage one another in intelligent discussion? to quote Jefferson, from his first inaugural address, "Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."

Anyways, my point is this- I'm going to make it a rule that comments come with a name attached. Any anonymous comments, regardless of their intellectual merits, will be deleted.
Just give me a name and we'll talk! :-) "Come, let us reason together."

If mr anonymous had just given a name, it would have shown a willingness to discuss the points he's made- an openness to getting to understand one another. Let's say his name was Steve- then maybe I could have responded, something like this:
Hey, Steve, thanks for commenting, I appreciate the feedback!
I believe the problem with the Health Care bill is that the bill does nothing to help those "50 million," but only aggravates the problem. Please don't mischaracterize my distaste for the bill as apathy toward those without insurance. I simply think that instead of government-run plans and madates for people to be required to buy insurance, we should instead focus on job creation in the face of the continued ballooning of unemployment, despite the "stimulus" bill, because the problem will be lessens naturally if more people have jobs that either supply insurance or at least provide people with income to be able to purchase insurance for themselves, which would in turn relieve the government (and by extension, american taxpayers) of that extra financial burden.

I would love to be able to draw the cartoon you describe, but
1) it wouldn't be a very funny cartoon, except perhaps in the sense that it is kind of absurd, and
2) only 49% of americans would agree with the depiction, according to the latest gallop polls.

What are your thought on the unemployment problem? Do you think fixing that would help to alleviate the insurance problems we are facing?
And from there we might have continued to work together toward a healthy interaction and intellectual exchange. Oh, and just to make it easy on you guys, I'll let you in on a little secret: 99.9% of the things I post on this blog are completely apolitical, with little or no moral ambiguity. so, see you around, and hope to hear from you!
Hopefully, I'll have some new comics to post soon.

But until then, just to cleanse the distaste of political discourse from my palate and yours, here's a picture of a cute fluffy bunny:

See, even the Rabbit hates politics!

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