Recovered from the Wayback Machine.
Jeff Jarvis has started a pledge he wants bloggers to sign on to. It reads:
After the election results are in, I promise to:
: Support the President, even if I didn’t vote for him.
: Criticize the President, even if I did vote for him.
: Uphold standards of civilized discourse in blogs and in media while pushing both to be better.
: Unite as a nation, putting country over party, even as we work together to make America better.
I can agree without reservation to civilized discourse, though I’m not sure we understand what that is. To some, it means not calling each other names; to others, it means not to disagree. The beauty of this environment is that we each bring a different understanding. That’s also the beast.
But if Jarvis means refraining from calling each other names, then, yeah, that would be nice.
I can also agree about pulling together as a country. I think that’s going to be easier said than done, but I’m for giving it a try,
As for support, when asked to clarify, Jarvis responded with:
I mean acknowledging that the president is the president and especially in a time of war, we need to stand together against our enemies — namely, Islamofascist terrorists — and not act, as too many have during this administration (and the one before it) that the enemy is in the White House. No, we’re on the same side.
That’s a little like the logic of saying to a person, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” Jarvis has framed the question so that it reflects what he considers our most dangerous enemy: Islamofascist terrorists. I can’t agree with his call for support, because I can’t agree with the definition of the enemy.
You see, I consider our worst enemy to be intolerance. Intolerance on the part of some Muslims about other non-Muslim people from the west, true. But also the intolerance demonstrated in this country — towards gays, towards women, towards people of color, towards those who don’t follow what others deem the One True and Right Way.
When Jarvis says will I pledge to support the President as he combats the enemy, my answer has to be, yes, if we can agree on what is the enemy.
As for the last part, about being critical about our leaders, we shouldn’t have to take a pledge to do this — it’s part of our duty to this country to be critical. And aware.
We don’t know yet who is going to win the Presidency, the race is too close to call. Regardless of who does, I am concerned about my country and the direction it will take in the next four years. More, I am concerned about how others outside of this country will view us, we their American friends, once the results are known.
Based on this, I would like to add a fifth part to this pledge, if we can do such a thing: that we don’t hold each other’s flags as a barrier between us. It would be a shame to toss aside all the great connectivity the internet brings, just when we were starting to get it right.