Political Weblogging Writing

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Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

The new group weblog Open Source Politics had its first week, and one can’t help but applaud the quality of much of the writing that’s come out of this effort. Of course, I know two of the people contributing, Mike Golby and Loren Webster, and have enjoyed their writing for some time so this isn’t surprising.

As much as I applaud any effort that gets Mike and Loren the readership they both deserve, I’m still not fond of these group weblogs. Rather than expose important issues to a new audience, the decidedly liberal nature of this weblog will either attract those who are liberal in the first place and likely to agree; or attract those from the opposite viewpoint, looking for cannon fodder. I think those who are more neutral are going to be pushed away by the tone and focus of the weblog.

I can see wanting to move political commentary from your weblog if you want to focus on writing or poetry or linguistics or some other specialized topic. However, if you’re hoping to influence people who haven’t made up their minds on specific issues, wouldn’t a more effective approach be to focus on writing or poetry or linguistics or technology, with an occasional sneaky aside into politics?

Speaking of politics, yesterday was the first of the Democratic candidates debate and though I know that people wanted fireworks, I thought all of the candidates were very responsible in focusing on Bush rather than each other. No candidate is perfect, but there were some good points raised. As for my political leanings, it’s no surprise I’m voting Democrat, but which specific candidate is between me and the button. I make no apologies that my focus is on removing Bush from office, rather than promoting any one of the Dems. I can say I don’t support Lieberman because of his hawkish outlook, and I don’t care for Gephardt because I think he sold us out when he stood behind Bush in the invasion of Iraq. Other than that, I’ll support whoever has the best chance to defeat Bush.

In line with recent discussion about politics and religion, the Pew Forum just released survey results relating religion and politics and voting in this country. Extremely interesting reading.

For instance, from what I can see from these results I would more likely to be voted president if I were Muslim than aetheist. In this country, we’re willing to concede a shared heritage from Abraham – reluctantly – but the non-religous, and one has to assume the polytheist and animist and other outsiders, need not apply.

In fact, unless there’s a drastic change in culture and attitudes about religion, it will be a cold day in hell before an aetheist is voted President in the United States.