Iraq. The Great Divider.
One of the first things we learned when we began The Yellow Line is that there is absolutely no position we could take on Iraq that wouldn't have someone posting an angry response. Given that our feelings on the war are conflicted and are not clearly in one camp or the other, we've had a lot of casual readers assume we are either hard left or hard right and proceed to lash into us.
A rather routine post about the pre-war memos that have been leaking out of Downing Street is a great example. One response in particular I wanted to share:
As a dedicated Independent, my blog title is 'LeftIndependent', I came here expecting to see a more patriotic nonpartisan perspective. Instead I found shills and apologists for the Bush administration's treason in a time of war...
It is in no way centrist to rationalize or justify the Iraq diversion. A centrist American would put our national security above the emotional blood lust that Bush used to drive the world to a war that was not necessary and that has given real aid and comfort to our sworn enemy. --aahpat
Aahpat's site is a well written, strongly left site that proves he (or she) is intelligent and highly concerned about the state of our nation. And yet, aahpat, like many on both sides, seems unable or unwilling to admit that those who disagree with him/her actually have rationale reasons for doing so.
Supporting the war doesn't mean you are a blind idiot and opposing the war doesn't mean you are an anti-American traitor.
We cannot let this war lead us to such cynical perceptions of our fellow Americans. There is great disagreement in this nation, but does there have to be great animosity too? Both sides have strong, solid reasons for believing as they do. Instead of casting aspersions, we should be making an effort to discuss Iraq.
Yesterday, we posted questions we have about Iraq and the war on terror. Later today, we're going to be posting the first question for discussion. All views are welcome.
Call me naive and idealistic, and maybe I am, but I know there are at least some Americans who remember that, first-and-foremost, we are one nation, INdivisible. So, anyone who wants to stop exploiting our divisions and start bridging the rifts, keep coming to The Yellow Line. Anyone who wants to use this blog as a forum to make divisions worse, feel free to stay around as well--just do me a favor: before lashing out, consider for a moment that your opponent might be an intelligent, free-thinking citizen who actually has legitimate reasons for believing the way he or she does.
As soon as we realize that our opponents are as intelligent and honest as we are, the easier it becomes to seriously debate.