One of the most valid criticisms of this blog is that I am only preaching to the choir. I may be voicing legitimate points, but it is not accomplishing much since few opposing my viewpoints will read it..
When I started writing Rebelyid is was not with any intent to persuade others to follow a different path. Most of the time I wrote to just to clarify my own thinking whether it was to summarize books and articles or to explore ideas out loud. Writing helps bring disparate ideas to a logical conclusion.
I have no strong loyalty to the Republican Party, but I have less for the Democrats. I mostly espouse libertarian thoughts, but I even find their party functionally sterile. I find economics and history to be enlightening and I try to apply those perspectives on controversial issues; that is why I find the left and right descriptions to be irrelevant.
One of the compliments I value is when readers claim they cannot discern if I am liberal or conservative. When I approach an issue those are the two least important thoughts in my head. I am sure that my recent posts make that seem unlikely since I oppose so much of Obama’s programs. If I am able to have any influence it was not my original goal.
But how does one have any influence on the readers? First of all I doubt if anything can have any influence on the extremes from either side. I believe only the middle third are even open to an original or questioning thought. Most people read for confirmation not information. Once someone claims any party loyalty their thought process seems to focus on defending that position rather than to entertain any thought that would question or doubt their belief.
While I like to debate positions I am only interested in an open discourse. Once the word ‘liar’ or ‘idiot’ is inserted into the debate I am done. When the person associated with a statement is the target more than the statement itself, I realize a debate is futile.
But the reality is that most people react and choose emotionally, not logically and few logical ideas will change them. To the extent that current myths can be debunked and more people will question their own positions I guess writers and bloggers may have some influence, but perhaps the best we can do is to continue to clarify in our own minds our positions and to continue to think them through so we are better prepared to promote and defend those ideas when the opportunity arises.
There probably isn’t much more a writer can do.