Friday, August 19, 2005

I was banned at RedState

*sigh*

I'm hardly the first.

I had an interest in the opposition perspective. I like to ask what I think are serious questions about that perspective. I really went to RedState to learn how the other side "sees things" beyond talking points.

Frequently, this was frustrating. I was ignored and insulted, but I did manage to get some good conversations out of it at times. My standard M. O. was to head over there, find someone saying something easy to challenge, and do so. It was always easy to find some "President Bush is trustworthy" comment or "the media is biased" comment.

I posted links with what I thought were relevant facts. I tried to separate facts from opinions as much as possible, and I tried to encourage the sharing of both. I stayed respectful, even in the face of disrespect.

This morning a particular user whose replies are typically short and disrespectful got my goat. Rather than let one of his non-replies lie, I followed up with a comment titled "Thank you, sir, may I have another!" In it, I politely asked for further explanation.

The title refers to the movie "Animal House" in which a fraternity initiation ritual is to be paddled by a fraternity member while saying that phrase. At the time, I was thinking that getting him to post another non-response would show how ridiculous his responses are, like the ritual, but it also referred to the topic at hand: reelecting President Bush for a second term after the disaster of his first. I liked the ambiguity.

After that, I figured it was the perfect way to respond every time: "Thank you, sir, may I have another!" in the title and a polite request for elaboration in the body. I think he may have deleted one of them, but I also thought I might have forgotten to hit "Post" (as I sometimes do after previewing), so I posted it again. That's when he banned me.

I had a look at their posting rules, and what I was doing might have qualified as "harassment" or "disruptive behavior," but it doesn't seem to me much worse than the behavior of their other regulars. I wouldn't be the first to remark that there's a double standard over there. Those who disagree with the RedStates are required to play nice more than the site's "base."

Anyway, I can still log in, but I'm read-only. I honestly thought the site was better off for my participation, but clearly they don't agree. Perhaps this comment is right.
The simple fact is that the difference between the liberal and conservative communities that swirl around in comments threads is because the latter cannot stand consistent factual argument against their collective beliefs. Liberals thrive on intelligent argument; conservatives shun it.

Try it some time. Post facts and links and see what happens.
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