Friday, February 27, 2009

Why the Political Blogosphere Reminds Me of High School

I know that many people look back at their high school years as their glory days but there's not enough money in anyone's bank to pay me to repeat mine.

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't the target of abuse by the "mean girls". Thank goodness.

In my case there were just too many cliques to count and my best friends and I didn't fit into any of them. The camps were clearly established and if you were a member of one group you didn't dare interact with someone from another.

I thought that those days were behind me forever.

These days the political blogosphere reminds me of high school. There's the progressive camp and the neocon camp and "never the twain shall meet"1.

There are the cool kids and the wannabes in both camps. But if you're a moderate who believes that there is common ground between the left and the right and that the two sides should talk to each other, then face it, you're an outsider.

In a recent post for The Atlantic, Marc Ambinder issued a challenge, Get Out Of Your D$*#( Shells

Ambinder wrote:
"Righties interviewing righties has gotten so boring and repetitive; lefties fawning over lefties is lazy. Who's going to be brave enough to reach out to an ideological or intellectual opponent, promote their new book, or interview them?"

I couldn't agree more. All you have to do is read the blogosphere's analyses of President Obama's attempts at bipartisanship and you quickly realize that most people at just too happy with being partisan.

I'm proud to say that I'm affiliated with two blogs, The Political Voices of Women and, which honestly try to bring all voices to the table. But our culture has grown accustom to talking at rather than talking to the other side that there still isn't a lot of cross-communication.

So I hope that this weekend, we'll all reflect on Marc Ambinder's challenge and consider reaching out to someone from the other side.

I'm trying, will you join me. After all, the problems facing this country and the globe probably won't be solved by someone in high school.

Of course, I could be wrong about that last part :-)

1. from The Ballad of East and West by Rudyard Kipling.


  1. awe- high school. My senior year I shouted how I was so thankful to leave all of the drama behind and someone close to me (older of course) spit on my parade and said "It never stops, honey."

    Isn't that true? I never considered myself moderate, but I guess when I look at all sides there just isn't enough capacity in one ontological view to get it ALL right. Collaborate, damnit! When will they get it right Pam? Maybe it's human nature to never get it right???

    I enjoyed this piece!


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