3/09/2005

Thoughts on blogging

Jane Hamsher, who writes for Daily Kos and has her own at firedoglake.blogspot.com had a great post a couple of days ago. She writes:

One of my favorite frequent commenters is a guy named John Perley Huffman, who tends to come down on the more conservative side of most issues than I do. This week he takes me to task over my last post about the Freeway Blogger:

"This may be therapeutic for him and the other sign painters... but being "seen by hundreds of thousands of people" isn't the same as changing a single mind. These signs are eye sores and their politics are so trite and simple-minded. You really think someone driving to work down the 101 is going to see a "Bush Lied" sign and suddenly reconsider his position on invading Iraq? If the left is ever going to make a difference again in this country they have to give up this inane street theater and move on to developing compelling and attractive policies. And then effectively selling those policies to the public. Right now all this does is contribute to the left's accelerating marginalization. And while that's a bad thing for the left, it's a worse thing for the country."

I didn't really think about it until John brought it up, I just see spirit like that and I go "woo hoo, good for you, buddy." But now that he mentions it, I've been thinking about it, which is a good thing. And I don't think the purpose of those signs is to change anybody's mind. Half the country didn't vote for Bush. And if you only relied on the mainstream media to reflect what the temperament of the country was like, all you would hear would be "mandate, mandate" and you'd think you were alone. That's how I felt during the Reagan years, really isolated and powerless to do anything. What good would it do me to write one letter when I knew that Ralph Reed could bat an eyelash and the Christian Coalition would write 10,000?
That's why I blog, both on my own site and on DailyKos. It makes me feel a part of something larger that is moving collectively for change. The Christian Right have never been a majority, and yet they move together in a way that gives them influence that far exceeds their numbers. Reading other blogs and doing it myself gives me hope. It motivates me to write that letter that I didn't bother to write when Reagan was in office. It makes me realize that there are other people out there like me, and that we can change something.
But there are tons of people out there driving to work every day who don't have the luxury to spend hours online, or they may just not know that there are other people out there who feel like they do as they sit in traffic breathing exhaust fumes and feeling alone. Seeing a sign by a freeway blogger lets them know that somebody is still out there fighting, nobody is giving up, that as much as the white house tries to choke all dissent out of a feeble fourth estate people will take to any means possible to get their message out.

You said it.

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