Rather than use this space to describe myself, I thought I'd use it to explain what inspired me to start this weblog.
I've been reading various blogs since the presidential campaign of 2004. During that campaign, and in the time since then, I have found the political blogosphere to be highly partisan — bifurcated between Conservatives/Republicans and Liberals/Democrats. Many blogs reflect extreme views on one side or the other. Since both camps preach only to the choir, self-delusion becomes amplified by fellow yes-men. Few, if any, of the partisan blogs make any attempt to engage in real discussion/debate on the issues they preach about.
The great tragedy of the 2004 election, for example, was the ridiculous caricaturization by both sides of the candidates. Conservatives: Is Bush really a stalwart defender of truth, justice and the American way? Is Kerry really a fraudulently decorated veteran who has never made a decision he didn't change his mind on? Liberals: Is Kerry really a valiant warrior with a brilliant battle plan for the future? Is Bush really a ventriloquist's dummy who will tell any lie to get the result Karl Rove wants? Unfortunately, JibJab's widely distributed This Land animation was an all too realistic portrayal of the campaign messages, parroted by the respective pundits and partisan bloggers.
These examples illustrate the great downside of partisan politics — the complete bias of both sides. A partisan always has an excuse why some malfeasance by someone on their own side is not that big a deal, or why some minor error by someone on the other side is a big deal. Well, those of us in the middle judge deeds based on right and wrong, not right and left.
During the campaign I found that even some of the moderate blogs chose sides and became blind adherents to that candidate. While most everyone eventually backs one candidate or the other, at least on election day, not everyone provides the unconditional support seen in most blogs. Seeing a dearth of non-partisan political discourse, I have finally decided to stake out my own niche in this medium ... firmly in the middle ground.
Hence my logo. The bell curve represents the distribution of political ideology. The flag is being raised at the peak of the curve. It flies over and unites all of us, regardless of our location along that ideological spectrum. The flag represents our freedom, all too often overlooked, to even participate in such political debates. But notice its location. The flag is being planted in the middle ground (roughly translated into Latin as Locus Medius) ... the peak of the bell curve ... the true foundation of America.
My aim is to defend that middle ground from attacks from partisans on both sides. I will fight back against both "right-wing nutjobs" and "liberal sissies" where I see fit.* At times I will also agree with one or the other side. I have no plan, nor reason, to evenly distribute my vitriol or my praise. This is not meant to be a neutral or unbiased blog. It reflects my personal views and biases. I suspect the result will be roughly even treatment of both sides, but I feel no need to artificially enforce such a result. The goal is to provide another forum for the voice of reason that political partisans assiduously avoid.
At the left you will find links to sites I sometimes peruse. I have divided them into categories based on my take on their political views. "In Locus Medius" represents sites I feel are my compatriots in the middle ground. Doesn't mean I agree with everything they say, only that I believe they have not devolved to the partisanship and/or extremism of the "nutjobs" and the "sissies". "Politics-lite" sites are those that I find are not particularly political.
Both conservatives and liberals like to wave the flag and claim that they best reflect the values of America. I am planting the flag firmly in the middle ground and proclaiming that this is where America's values are formed. Come and get me partisans. You'll be fighting an uphill battle. I've got the high ground!
Now that I've described my inspiration for this blog, I should point out that I also plan to post on finance, science, tech and anything else that strikes my fancy.
*Please don't be insulted if you've made one or the other of the lists. The titles are all in jest, taken from JibJab's widely distributed This Land animation from the 2004 election.