About politics and partisanship, here in the bilge
OK, I promised a thread.
The bilge has a pretty impressive array of contributors; most people here are bright, observant, interesting, have interesting careers or avocations, and so on... maybe it's characteristic of people who (among other things) engage in building wooden boats, or even just appreciating them.
But we do share one common characteristic:
Ain't NOBODY here who is 'non-partisan'... NOBODY.
Every active participant here is a partisan, of one sort or another. There can be partisans uniformly aligned with one or the other side of the political domain... as well as partisans for specific issues, non-aligned... and even a bunch who intentionally suppress their partisanship, playing 'coy', so as not to be pigeonholed or typecast among people with whom they might disagree on issues, but otherwise respect.
But we all have opinions. Some may be well thought out, others not so much... but I have never once believed that anyone expressing a strong opinion was insincere about their beliefs... even though accusations of insincerity are very commonplace around here.
However, people on both sides of the spectrum are often faced with the very same accusation: 'partisanship'
Why would anyone, as part of an interest group wich is virtually defined by partisanship, make that kind of accusation? I've always wondered.
Some make the accusation because they think someone else isn't being 'balanced'.... but since when did 'balance' be an obligation of a partisan... or even a non-partisan? The accusations usually come in the form of complaints that 'you post too many threads that are against <liberalism /conservatism / fiberglass boats / etc>.... but what's the point of discussion when there isn't any disagreement? Being typcast as a liberal, there's no limit to the number of 'liberal' forums I could join, to listen only to people who agree with me.... but I'm not a participant in a single one of them... it would be pointless.
Then there's the accusation of 'bashing'. To some people, 'bashing' means criticism of policies or politicians they like or agree with.. but I never felt that way. To me, 'bashing' would be restricted to unfair or untrue criticism, like the birther thing. When EVERY criticism becomes 'bashing', the word has lost its meaning entirely.
There is also the criticism of 'imbalance' among participants. 'Too many liberals' here is a common one.... 'Too many right wingers' seems to be heard a bit less often, but it does happen. Since when has there ever been any sort of obligation on the part of the participants here to be balanced in number?
Of course, we get the 'why don't you ever criticize <so and so from your own 'party'>'... as if, with each criticism of the other side, someone is obligated to balance his post or thread with something from the opposite point of view. We are partisans... which, by definition, means that we are here to represent our own points of view. This does not mean that there aren't valid criticisms of our own... they just may be less important to us, individually, which is why we don't go out of our way to do it.
I hold a variety of views... admittedly, most of them are progressive, but I do have one or two which would nominally represent the beliefs of the other side. Unfortunately, it is in the nature of ourselves, that we DO pigeonhole and typecast our respective attitudes about others, and it's a rare day in hell when someone like me can agree, and sometimes, even strongly, with someone characterized as being from the opposite side.....
....but it does happen, now and then.
I have never once made any secret of my views, nor of my partisanship. The criticisms on my point of view come largely from people who are also obviously partisan... but the annoying and non-constructive criticisms which bother me the most are the ones that criticize me.. simply for being partisan! Think about it.... you don't need a cartoon of a pot and kettle to figure out the inconsistency of that.
I got in touch with my inner self today... that's the last time I'll buy single-ply toilet paper!