Do you ever wonder if everyone else writes faster than you? I was reading my Blogs of Interest last night and early this morning and discovered that certain bloggers are posting and commenting a flood of words. How do they find the time? I know they have busy lives. I know they're as busy as I am. How can they devote so much time to posts and arguments?
Yeah. Arguments. I've been reading those on ER's blog and his links to arguments on other blogs, and I'm amazed at the sheer wordage that's produced. Their fingers must blur as all those bloggers and comments respond to their opponents' latest salvos. How do they do it?
More importantly, where do they get the emotional energy? I'm not a debate person. The few times that debates have happened on this blog -- while the number of comments was sort of cool -- the debates themselves were more distressing than interesting to me. I recognize that there are people who love to debate. Sometimes they pretend that's witnessing or "raising important issues" or "taking a stance," but mostly they just love showing off their intelligence and/or the sound of their own voices. It's a way to draw attention to their lives. And since they enjoy it and aren't making me participate or read, why shouldn't they argue, cuss, discuss, debate, and so on until they're blue in their respective faces? It's a free country and more power to them.
However, I get cranky when someone says -- as a nameless, gutless, half-witted person did yesterday -- that I don't care about an issue just because I'm not willing to bind my wrist with my opponent's and take to the ring with rhetoric knives. I hold strong views. I hold very strong ones. But once I've stated my position and the other side has stated theirs, I'm done. Particularly if I feel the gulf between the two views can never be bridged. I won't waste my time, and I don’t expect the other guy to waste his. That is perhaps bloody-minded, but I'm busy, I've got things to do, and time is too precious to squander.
All of this relates to the war in Iraq. I've never made a secret of my opposition to the war, but I don’t go around proclaiming it, either. Furthermore, our troops are there, and there is no quick way to pull them out without losing all the advances we've made. If we had a time machine and could go back and I were president, I'd not send our troops over there in the first place. Instead, I'd put a price on Saddam's head -- say, 50 million because he was a murderous madman and the world is better and safer without him -- and spend the rest of those billions on putting alternative fuel cars on the marketplace. (Not research, which the government seems to fund endlessly, but actual development. Put hybrids, electrics, air-engines, etc. vehicles out there, and let the marketplace sort them out. America has mainlined oil too long and allowed other nations to control us. We need to kick the habit once and for all.) But we have no time machine so we can't redo it. We have to work with what we have. This is the real world.
We Americans have always been hopelessly naïve. We generally behave well, we try to do right, we see ourselves as the guys in the white hats. We're always surprised when other countries break treaties, lie to us, etc. We expect them to be as good as we are. We expect them to long for freedom and peace. This is our greatest weakness and our greatest strength. Our ability to rise above the muck, to strive to be better humans, to believe in justice and liberty when all reason says we shouldn't ... That's the essence of America. We are simply the best and brightest that the world has ever seen. We have problems -- we're not perfect -- but we're the closest we're going to get down here. And we're only going to get better.
Those are my beliefs. I hold them hard. I hold them strong. If you think I don't, you're either willfully ignorant or hopelessly blind. And I won't waste any time with you.