Jill Stanek will be on Hannity and Colmes tonight. More information at her web site. Stanek is a nurse who testified in front of Obama about the Born Alive Act while he served in the Illinois State Legislature.
I have watched for some time now the relentless back and forth on SA by commenters. As we have gotten closer to Election Day, the vitriol increases and the attacks intensify. While I most certainly agree with the old adage – “politics ain’t beanbag”, the tone has become quite disturbing.
Over the last couple of months, the tone of SA has morphed from a discussion of issues and the political races of the day, to flat out blood sport between competing camps in comments that are almost without fail done anonymously. Now while I respect anonymity and the right to have your comments be heard, it can be abused when posters publish comments that they most certainly would not want to be associated with their names.
The practical effect of all this is that the comment section, while immensely entertaining at times, has morphed into what one particularly insightful commenter called the wall of a bathroom stall where competing gangs exchange taunts and words they wouldn’t probably say to someone’s face. We have attacks on candidates’ families, vicious and sometimes borderline slanderous attacks on people running for office, and sometimes flat out lies about candidates.
Now some might say that candidates ask for this when they run for office and use that as justification for the attacks. Some might also say that candidates attack each other all the time, in some cases much worse than goes on in the blogs. But there is a big difference. No anonymity. Candidates that attack each other have to put their names on the mailers, radio ads, phone calls, etc. Even the attack on Russell Pearce which I found abhorrent, was not done anonymously. There is a big difference. At least the candidates know who’s throwing the punches and voters can make an informed decision with that knowledge. In contrast, the comment section of this blog has become increasingly angry and vicious with a no holds barred attitude in attacking candidates and its done with a litany of made up names.
Never forget that each and every candidate for public office is doing something noble that should have our respect and admiration – they are running for public office. It’s the very foundation of our democracy.
What distinguishes SA from most other conservative blogs in this state is that it allows a diversity of writers, ideas, and opinions to be posted. Most, if not all of the other conservative blogs in this state are the opinion of one or two people and that’s it. Many routinely censor and moderate comments and don’t allow comments that disagree with their particular world view. In fact, one blog even took SA for task for not adhering religiously to that particular blogger’s view of how things should be done. That blogger just doesn’t get it and never will get what SA is all about. At its very base, it is a place to post ideas and thoughts about issues and politics and share those with others – not a place to censor views and opinions.
With that said, however, that freedom is being abused by some and while I most certainly respect your right to say whatever you want, whenever you want, no matter how offensive or stupid it may be, it would help going forward to maybe show a little decency towards the candidates running for office and at minimum have the courage if you are going to make an attack to use your real name and if that is not an option, follow the adage of the commenter mentioned above and not turn the comment section of SA into the wall of a toilet stall.
As the editor of Sonoran Alliance, I decided to pull the latest post on Tony Bouie’s wife.
After a review of the comments, it was clear that some of the comments had gone too far and that the tone of the “discussion” was too much of a distraction.
I am also becoming more concerned about bringing candidate’s family members into these posts/comments – especially after what happened in the LD18 Senate race. Now before anyone claims that “someone got to him,” I’m willing to bet that every one of you would probably agree that a family member should not be placed in the target zone in a political race even if they react out of self-preservation. (And by the way, I am reconsidering pulling an earlier post in another race.)
Within reason, some things should be off limits.
So in the interest of civility and respect, I have pulled the latest Bouie post regarding his wife but I will allow and monitor comments closely on this post.