Friday, August 27, 2010

Thoughts on the Ahem discussion

In the comments of Steph's Ahem post, SupraLuxe and I had an exchange that didn't go well. I was all set to write a snarky, blazing Fisk and in fact started something yesterday morning but got bogged down in diversions and formatting chores before I had to get B to the bus stop.

After thinking about it for a day, I don't want to do that. I'd rather make just a couple of comments.

First, when I told SupraL that Freereplublic and World Net Daily were NOT "leading conservative websites," he took offense. It was not my intention to criticize SuperL's research skills or his choice of sources. However, SupraL's characterization of the Freepers and WND as "leading conservative websites" told me (1) that he hasn't spent much time looking at conservative websites, and (2) he thinks conservatives are crazy. (Note for SupraL: Until fairly recently, I was a hard-core lefty. I proudly called myself a socialist, which lefties seldom do these days, even if they are. I KNEW that Republicans/conservatives were mean, stupid, and evil.) I don't expect that anything SupraL reads here or on any conservative website will change his mind about any of the topics we discuss. But to the extent that SupraL is curious about what conservatives think, I wanted to steer him away from the Freepers and WND and to a place where conservative thoughts are expressed sanely and intelligently; NRO is one of those, there are many others.

Second, a note to SupraL on argument. When in the course of a discussion/argument you find yourself questioning the motivation or character or sanity of your opponent, you are engaging in an ad hominem attack, and it generally means you have run out of thoughtful things to say on the subject. Ad hominem attacks are fun (I know because I do it all the time*) but rarely productive if your goal is a meaningful discussion.

*See, for instance, in the same comments, where I told Steph she was "beyond the bend."**

**But she provocated me.

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