In my post of April 12, I suggested that you wouldn’t hear much about politics from me. May I please recant and apologize for that? Politics is at the core of the American character and to avoid political discussion is to hand over control of our lives to others.
Over time, Facebook developed some unwritten rules of social media discourse which I found constraining and, I do not use this word often, un-American. Of course, Facebook has a particular problem with trolls so that any mention of a candidate, party or policy preference would bring them out to haunt your page.
I dealt with that by creating a secret group where I could share with others some of the better reading I encountered as I perused the morning papers online. (“Secret” is Facebook’s classification. I preferred to think of it as private.) The group was called Morning Paper and I invited Facebook friends whom I knew to be well-read and reasonable. Of course, that meant they were for the most part Democrats and liberals. But there were a few well-read and reasonable Republicans in the group. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find those folks?
Of course, I was aware of the echo chamber effect and it always bothered me a bit that we were propping up each others’ opinions and worldviews with lots of positive reinforcement and very little critique.
So, here we are now with a WordPress journal that is open to the world. Religion and politics are not off limits although I will do my best to avoid snark and satire. I have already done snark and satire in a blog I called the Lake Jackson Democrat. It was kind of new during the Bush years and I was pretty good at it. But now everyone is doing it and it has become meaner and less informing. The Onion was born during that era and the snarky little memes we enjoyed then morphed into the products being issued by Russian troll farms.
So, call me down if I become impolite, boorish, sarcastic or crude when I talk about our political leaders. At a minimum, I will do my best to hold myself to the standard of our president at all times.