Well, SUFA, it has been a bit since I have offered you something new to read. And that is precisely what I am here to discuss with all of you (the few who remain 🙂 ). I come today prepared to hear everyone’s thoughts on the future of Stand Up For America. I got an email from the good Colonel a few weeks ago asking if I was shutting down SUFA. I had to answer that I don’t know what I am doing. But I think the time has come to have the discussion. So I will lay out where I stand on things and allow all of you to weigh in with your thoughts on how we should proceed. The reality is that we cannot proceed with the status quo (because the status is NOT… quo bonus points to those that can tell me where that quote comes from!)
First my thoughts on the discussions here at SUFA. When I started the site, I prided myself on keeping things civil for the most part. That was one of my main focuses. My belief was that we were all screwed so long as we kept arguing over stupid stuff and failing to learn from each other. So I wanted a place that wasn’t like the other sites. I wanted a place were different sides could come together and have respectful discussions. For quite a while we maintained that here. But over the last year or so, it has deteriorated. There is more name calling and disrespect here at SUFA than ever.
And I realize that I cannot stop that from happening. We are passionate people talking about a very important sphere of our lives: the people who aim to rule us and the tactics they use. And because the subject matter is so important, we all care a lot about it. Thus, we sometimes lose our heads. For others, it is simply their nature to be harsh or condescending. Whatever the cause, it isn’t the SUFA that I imagined it would be. To be clear, I don’t blame any of you for that. It is my failing to deal with. I just don’t have an answer on how to correct it without spending significant time monitoring the site and cracking down, which I just don’t have the time to do at this point.
Another by-product that I wasn’t necessarily prepared for were the personal attacks that come with the territory in political discourse. That isn’t to say that I can’t handle them, but it is tiring and at times I feel my blood pressure rising when people seem to deem that attacking me personally is a suitable response to disagreeing with my ideas or principles. The easiest way to discredit an opposing view seems to be to make false claims, scream racist, or whatever else that move people away from the actual content being discussed. Lately this has manifested in people sending me nasty notes about the fact that I “hide behind a fake name.” To those who continue to spout that, allow me a short response…
We, unfortunately, live in a world where having the right to say something doesn’t mean that you won’t be retaliated against for it. In a USA where we see regular stories about employers requiring Facebook passwords or firing people for what they say or do on their own time, it isn’t worth the risk to my career to be a public figure. Doing so means you are one google search away from losing a job simply for having an opinion. Do you know that not a single person in my workplace even knows that I have ever written a “political blog”? That is how careful you have to be when you are the owner of a political site like this one. If I am identified as the owner, I am held accountable for every nasty comment written here by me or any of you. Is that fair? No. Is it the unfortunate reality? Sadly, yes.
So to all of you who make that claim, believe me, it isn’t your whiny behind that I am trying to keep my identity from. You are inconsequential in that realm. I work from a logo so that my employers or any other authorities don’t have a reason staring them in the face to take any sort of negative action against me. Because that stuff is happening. It isn’t paranoia, it’s news…
I also have found over the last couple of years writing here at SUFA that I cannot reach the point where I am going to change the mind of those who made up their minds prior to reading a word I have written. Often there are comments such as “I stopped reading after the first paragraph…” Nothing says I had my mind made up on all subject matter before reading what I write more than that statement. I don’t begrudge those who do so. You have that right. But why should I bother arguing with you at this point. It is clear that you are not interested in my point of view, or anyone else’s other than your own for that matter.
But the biggest problem, and the one that DOES bother me and that I cannot seem to find an answer to… if that I don’t have anything to believe in from the two major parties OR from the fringe groups that attempt to become a third party OR the Americans who were tasked with keeping these idiots in line.
The Democrats and I simply have different philosophies about how to take care of people. I think taking care of those less fortunate is a laudable goal, but I believe that they go about it all wrong and blame the wrong people. Thus most of their solutions make things worse rather than better. There are social aspects of their agenda I wholeheartedly support, as you know. But overall, they want to make government uber-large with maximum control and minimal liberty.
The Republicans and I simply have different philosophies about what it means to respect people who have different lifestyles or thoughts than you. I believe wanting people to be “good” is a laudable goal, but I believe that they go about it all wrong and attempt to project their narrow views based on religious teachings on the population at large. There are fiscal aspects of their agenda that I wholeheartedly support. But overall, they want to make government uber-large with maximum dictation of social norms and minimal liberty.
The “third parties” unfortunately confine themselves to being a mess and, in a few cases, make the cause of liberty a top priority, while simultaneously losing their minds in other areas. Further, they often rely on ignoring reality in favor of the ideal. I like the ideals, but we cannot jump from A to Z, there are a lot of steps between that they don’t seem to be willing to acknowledge and they are not prepared to take.
Most frustrating are the people. It feels that many Americans have gotten to a place where they are content to live with their own hypocrisy and have no interest in resolving conflicts in their own philosophy. That I simply cannot understand. When I find a conflict between things I believe, or when hypocrisy in my own position is pointed out, I do my level best to resolve the conflict and eliminate hypocrisy. Over the last several years I have had literally hundreds of conversations with people where I took the time to show inconsistency or hypocrisy, and almost universally they can see what I am talking about and simply say, “well, that is what I believe and it isn’t going to change…” How did America get to this point?
Further, Americans have simply gotten lazy when it comes to both the political process and when it comes to taking care of themselves. With politics, most are content to be spoon fed whatever the two parties wish you to believe through the media, without the slightest bit of cynical questioning at all (thankfully, no one at SUFA falls into this category). They are led around by the nose by the very politicians that we are supposed to control. And this is made possible by the fact that they have zero interest in giving up all the government “things” that have made their lives “easier”. Self-reliance is a foreign concept to 90% of Americans, and that number will continue to grow.
Finally, the largest part of my problem right now is simply time. I don’t have the time that I used to have to devote to writing a political blog and participating in the discussions. My career change has been both challenging and rewarding. But mostly, it is time -consuming. And the little bit of free time that I do get, I really owe to Mrs. Weapon, who idly stood by while I dedicated all my free time to this blog for several years.
So what am I to do? I haven’t lost my passion for the subject matter. But I don’t have the time to dedicate like I used to. I haven’t lost my passion for helping people understand, but I don’t have the belief that I can make a difference with those people as they are too set in their ways. And I simply don’t believe there is much I can do to change the system as it sits now, as the only two real choices we are offered are so the same as to be like identical twins that only family members can tell apart.
I don’t want to shut down SUFA. But I do know that all of you deserve better than you are getting at this point. I will shut up and let everyone else weigh in at this point…