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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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A Liberal Response
Jonathan Pait
August 12, 2002

The following is an E-mail exchange with a reader following last week’s article, “I Want To Be a Socialist.” The conversation really speaks for itself.
Please do not send me any more of your e-stuff. It's exactly the reactionary stuff every other paper in SC pushes. "Common" is a very good word for it - I look for enlightened thought, and this isn't it!

Thank you for removing my name.

- A reader

The editor responded with the following message.
I wanted to confirm with you that you have just been deleted completely from our database.

I have no expectations that I deserve your help, but I would certainly like to know more specifically you are referring to below. What would you like in a Web site of this nature? Perhaps I can work more toward that end.

Perhaps this will help explain where I am coming from:

Link to past article

I'll get out of your hair now :-) Thanks!

The reader replied to the request with the below message.
“What Common Voice is not; Common Voice is not a bulletin board where just anyone can hop on and say whatever they would like about any issue or any person. The site belongs to the editor and posters are his invited guests. Guests who do not behave are not allowed to continue participating. It is not a gossip site. It is not an investigative reporting site. It is what its name implies. It is a place for anyone to express his or her views.”

You can see I went to the link you proffered. I've accented two sentences [Note, the formatting was lost in the transfer of E-mail], above, to illustrate my point. If they're not indicative of muddy thinking, they at best represent unclear word usage. Perhaps "just" is the qualifier; not for me to say. "through my filter." is understood to end the last sentence. Thus you offer me nothing to enrich my days.

Your "conservative" bent reflects the upstate, to be sure. It's not an inclusive, welcoming, thoughtful way to be, in my experience. Conservatism around here means mean and selfish. I do like your definition of a liberal, though, as one who believes humankind (you use the narrow, male-based term "men") is basically good. I seek to surround myself with people like that, difficult as it is hereabouts!

If I don't keep enlightened expression and outlook, optimistic attitudes about a fulfilling life for all people regardless of their church affiliation, I may fall prey to the narrow attitudes of my own forebears (great-great-Granddaddy Confederate Colonel John Thompson Green, for one), and that would be a waste of my head.

So I'll be liberal and sharing and progressive, you be conservative and work for the status quo and traditional power. Happily, history is on my side, socially, and politically, despite all the conservative efforts to keep women and people of color away from power.

Conservative selfishness hurts many people along the way to inevitable progress, but if you can live with that, don't give it any thought.

The funny thing is that the liberals will say, “Amen!” to the reader’s complaint. The conservatives will say, “Here we go again with an emotional, race-baiting, hyper-sensitive diatribe.” The exchange simply illustrates the point of the article. A broad chasm exists between capitalists and socialists—conservatives and liberals.

As tempting as it is to respond to the charges levels, we’ll save that for another article at another time. It should be pointed out, however, that regular readers understand that the only thing that the editor “censors” is language and slander—but NEVER ideas. It is one of the things that make this site so great for all of womankind :-).

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