Tuesday, September 07, 2004

visiting RepublicLibertarians?

UPDATE: Ignore this post. The Mad Ogre himself wrote me to say he's a Libertarian, not a Republican. Just goes to show what I know.

I'll occasionally get hits from a right-leaning blog called Mad Ogre. I don't know whether The Ogre himself is visiting, or if it's an Ogre fan, but I'm intrigued. I've been to the Ogre's site, and while the guy strikes me as a staunch Republican in the same vein as Annika and my old friend Mike, The Maximum Leader, I can't for the life of me figure out why any devoted Republican/conservative would visit my site.

First, I'm a political cynic who's written an essay in praise of not voting. Mike, for one, has made it clear that voting is a patriotic duty. I imagine plenty of his fellow conservatives would agree. (And plenty of liberals would agree, too.)

Second, I've repeatedly said I was against the Iraq war, even though I currently support our project in the Middle East (mainly because we have little choice but to support it now).

Third, I'm no fan of George Bush (even though I think Bush understands what Kerry doesn't: we're at war), and won't be voting for Dubya. (Or for Kerry.)

Fourth, I'm not sick of Andrew Sullivan.

I know that Mike visits my site because he's my best buddy and he's loyal, even if he secretly thinks my political opinions are half-baked (heh). I know Annika considers me a sick fucker whom she finds morbidly-- if only occasionally-- fascinating. But what brings the Mad Ogre here?

A few possibilities:

1. I don't diss the US military. I respect those who serve, and stand with the servicemen who spit on the soldiers (and/or sick chain of command) who allowed something like Abu Ghraib to happen. I'm not uncritical of our military, but as the child of a military man, I've come to understand that my ability to get fat and debate important issues in comfort is largely a function of the protection under which I live-- yes, even while abroad.

2. The Mad Ogre agrees with Annika that I'm a sick fucker.

3. The Mad Ogre is busy reading up on issues in religious pluralism and has bookmarked my site as a reference. Perhaps he'll write a post offering new pluralistic models in keeping with his love of guns: "Small-caliber Pluralism," or "Many Paths, Double Barrels." Or maybe we'll soon see an essay titled "A Holographic Approach to the Ontology of Exploding Lagomorphs: How Many Universes Do Rabbit Guts Traverse As They Fly Apart?"

4. I'm not a card-carrying liberal. This at least makes me tolerable to certain Republicans.

I try to keep my blogroll stocked with a healthy mix of liberal and conservative bloggers. Keeping in mind the Zen maxim that I shouldn't "make anything," I proclaim that it's the mind that makes liberal and conservative. Why not welcome both into my home? Isn't that consistent with a nondualistic, pluralist attitude?

People who've followed the blog for a while know that I've removed some frothers from my blogroll: Democratic Underground was one of the first to be booted off once I realized what kind of site it was. Same is true of the über-lefty Atrios. I've avoided Daily Kos like the plague. I've kept the left-leaning Kevin Drum, obviously-- who wouldn't? The man's civil, reasonable. I've kept the more rational righties as well: Den Beste, Satan's Anus, et al. I never blogrolled National Review Online, because I don't think I can take too many John Derbyshire essays (though I love the ones by Victor Davis Hanson). I've got the liberal-leaning Washington Post blogrolled; they feature conservative writers like Charles Krauthammer and George Will. I've got Salon on the blogroll, too, despite their occasional tendency to imitate Democratic Underground.

So I strive for balance, or at least dynamic tension. I don't mean that in a Kerry-ish way; I simply don't see the value in constant exposure to one perspective all the damn time. So: Welcome, Mad Ogre, or Mad Ogre fan, whoever you are. Thanks for visiting. I like your blog, even if I disagree with it now and then.


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