Saturday, October 22, 2005

Clogging (Commenting on Blogs)

Liberal v. ConservativeSeveral people have asked why I bother to comment on so-called "conservative" blogs, such as Polipundit, many of whom make a claim to conservatism, but are, instead, decidedly right-wing.

Well, when I come across a clearly false assertion that has not been refuted by others, I am often compelled to post a direct reply to that specific assertion. Just because a blog is clearly right-wing; many others, called lurkers, may read the posts without comment. Some may be young, or just unknowing. As such, I believe it is important to respond to false assertions, especially on high-traffic sites that purport to have influence.

I have a few personal rules-of-thumb that have served me well. (And when I have ignored my own rules-of-thumb, I have often witnessed the consequences.)
The truth always matters.
Winning an argument is not the goal.

Listen to others.
Respect others.
Admit error.
Admit fallibility.
Retract or clarify as required.

Find common ground where possible.
Be sure of your facts; research *before* posting.
Support your assertions with appropriate cites.

Stay on-topic.
Ad hominem is always off-topic.
Ignore off-topic comments.
Post only when you have something new to add to the discussion.

ΣωκράτηςI believe it is important to preserve conservative philosophy from right-wing and reactionary movements. Conservatives believe that traditional values and institutions are the bulwark of society, and so they are. But right-wing movements, claiming the mantle of conservatism, will often destroy even long-standing institutions in order to bring back some mythical good-old-days, that never really existed.