One of the reasons I was in Washington DC this week was to attend the Pajamas Media panel discussion “How Partisan is Partisan?” at the National Press Club. In attendance were some very esteemed members of the blogosphere and some members of the MSM and the discussion was, naturally, about the role of blogs in the partisan political arena.

You can find some excellent commentary on the event at Josue’s blog, here and here, more at Atlas Shrugs, Powerline, Ace and a great editorial link roundup here at Pajamas Media.

I wont get into parsing the editorials linked above or critiquing individual opinions. Nor will I offer up any substantial intellectual theory or provide a debate on the nuances and pros and cons of same. I will just give you all the opinion of this immigrant son of a welder:

Partisanship is a privilege.

As much as we may disagree with those who have opposing points of view and as much as we may work to disprove same, and regardless of the fact that some of those opposing views are cause for much anger and frustration and may be in absolute contrast to everything that we hold dear, we must recognize the fact that this is the inherent right of every person living in a free society.

And since not all persons are granted that right of choice or of opinion or of expression – as in the case of a country like Cuba – then those of us who can freely express our convictions without repercussion should consider it a privilege.

And that, despite all of our vast and perceived differences, makes us all pretty much the same. Right, left, center or extreme either way.

5 thoughts on “Privilegio”

  1. One of the many things that irks me about political discourse in this country is how the expression of partisan opinion, a strong point of view, etc., is so often derided as being divisive and somehow indicative of a problem with our political system.

    As a result, some people criticize talk radio, blogs, etc. as only adding to the problem. And that is how we end up with odious legislation like “campaign finance reform,” with which we sacrifice our fundamental rights so that we can feel “good” about ourselves.

    What a load of crap.

    The fact is, the opposite is true.

    The clamor of opinions, from the left, right and the wimpy middle, is the sign of a healthy democracy, with ideas competing in the intellectual marketplace for our attention and, when appropriate, our derision. That there is political debate and discussion, serious and otherwise, is a much better indicator of the health of our system than even voter turnout.

    (I think it is worth remembering that many of those doing the criticizing come from the traditional MSM, which no longer controls all the available sources of information.)

    Sure, some people are blowhards, but the marketplace always has a way of weeding them out. And that is a good thing.

    But the best way we can advance as a society — and as Americans, serve the cause of freedom — is to first be willing to enter the arena and fight for our ideals. Yes, it gets messy and sometimes the debate never ends, but in the end, as a nation, we are better off for it.

    Val is right — it is a privilege. After all, there are too many places in this world — like Cuba, like China, etc. — they don’t have that right.

  2. I must respectfully disagree. While partisanship is a privilege, it is based on belief. The more strongly one feels about an issue, the more partisan one is likely to be. That is not necessarily bad. It is not an excuse for personal nastiness, but is a reason for strong argument and even polite scorn. Nonpartisanship is often just an excuse for disinterest or apathy.
    Partisanship is not only a privilege, it is an obligation. A Castro supporter here might be treated politely, but I think it would be coldly. We do owe truth, as we see it, support. Even to the extent of treating those who oppose it with less than total respect. It is the balance that defines civilization. It is because that balance is our choice that we are free, neither masters or slaves.
    While excess is to be avoided, let us never fear to defend our ideas. Partisanship forms the debate that defines our liberty.

  3. Ken,

    I disagree. You cant force someone to participate in political or social discource thus you really cant consider partisanship an obligation. No one is obliged to render their opinions, whether thru a blog post, a comment, or even an election. thus, those who opt to participate in the political discourse, do so as is their privileged right.

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