Monday, February 2, 2009

Venturing to the Right

It should be apparent by now that my political ideology leans left more often than it leans right, so I thought I might share with you a recent experience of reading the other side. As you may know, some of the rhetoric is beyond belief. (Image: Brietbart) I like to read a wide variety of opinions -- obviously taking some more seriously than others in the process. In a recent read through the Drudge Report, which provides some of the funniest moments of my days, I came across an article on Obama's move to talk to Iran and Syria. Feeling more adventurous than usual, I decided to take a look at the comments.

The first thing that shocked me was the number of posts with the insane belief that Obama is a Muslim. This type of fear mongering isn't surprising and shows some true ignorance on the part of those that defend this intolerant and hateful point of view or believe it to be true. If any other religion was insulted continuously in such a way, there would be site bans and complaints filed until the site overloaded. Not only has this rumor been proven untrue, it shows how intolerance relies on total ignorance.

It was a bit surprising to see a few divergent voices calling foul on these statements. Sure they were outnumbered by a lot, but those who stuck to it were putting up a fight. Regardless of this tiny minority speaking from the left, many posters simply posted their favourite lines from the right-wing rhetoric playbook.

However, this example shows the weakness of blogs to create an echo-chamber of narrow ideology that drowns out conflicting voices. The same thing obviously happens at left-wing blogs, which I am sure a right-wing reader would point out with the same annoyance I write with now. The problem with the internet is that it makes it very easy for us to pick sites that match our opinion.

If I didn't read Drudge frequently, I would have no clue about the latest liberal-flub I will be hearing about on the news networks and from hard-core right-wing political junkies I talk to. I suppose that there is value in reading the other side of the blogosphere if your nerves can take it. It never hurts to take a look -- well, at least not usually.