My Turn – Clearing The Air

Over the last few weeks, Sonoran Alliance has received quite a bit of attention both here in Arizona and across the country. I originally conceived the blog as an opportunity for well-written conservatives in Arizona to report on news and to promote conservative thought and principles in our area of the country. The objective was to provide a forum for those who don’t have the resources to buy time and space in major media outlets. Every Arizona conservative knows that the Arizona Republic and Arizona Daily Star could care less about the conservative perspective let alone provide equal balance. Thus, in February of 2006, Sonoran Alliance arrived in the blogosphere.

In the beginning, there were only 2-3 of us posting as I sought out talented contributors to add more depth to the blog. My vision was to see the blog develop into one rivaling others around the country. Today, about a half dozen contributors write when they have time. While I am most identified and associated with the blog, others have asked to use pseudonyms in order to protect their privacy. Some are and have been very prominent in Republican politics and would prefer to avoid personal, professional and political assaults by being identified. I have respected their privacy and more importantly, given them my word that I would not reveal their identity even if we have a falling out. For me however, my identity is not an issue. After being the Executive Director or Arizona Right to Life for six years, I figured how much more controversial could I get? Yes, I did change my posting name to “DSW” but even the most amateur internet sleuth could figure out who I am.

So in the last two years, I have essentially fallen into the role of a “senior contributor, “senior editor” or whatever fancy or derrogatory name readers want to call me. And because of this, I have taken a lot of heat and barbs. I knew what I was getting into but also knew that my skin was thick and if I couldn’t take it, I should get out of the kitchen (excuse the mixed metaphor). I especially expected this after criticizing Senator McCain, but that is another long story that you can read up on throughout Sonoran Alliance.

My point in exercising a point of personal privlege is to stand in the middle and take a few bullets from both sides as we ready to elect a new chairman. No, I don’t claim to be a wise old elder in the party, but I think I have learned some things watching the comments go back and forth on this blog and I’d like to issue a reality check.

1) While it is a very good thing that conservatives have this means to exercise their First Amendment Right to say whatever they want, their is a price to pay by making irresponsible or volatile postings. I learned this when I got angry with a certain Republican consultant over an endorsement in a certain legislative race. It’s always best (but very challenging) to wait and sit on a posting or comment until after your passion subsides. My request to the readers is to refrain from name-calling and try to stick to the facts.

2) While anyone can find just about anything on the Internet about others, my strong advice is to be careful what you post. It only takes one false or sloppy reference to a third-party source to bring doubt and discredit on the entire blogsite. The individuals who post on Sonoran Alliance at one time have all asked me if they can refer to specific sources. My answer has always been that if it is in the public domain from a credible source, they can use it. News or stories on other website are fine. Official documents with government entities are great. I prefer not to use liberal websites as a source because can we really believe everything liberals say? I will also say that I won’t let this blog turn into a conspiracy theory blog with discussions about the New World Order, aliens or Halliburton. I’ve heard it many times already and I’m pretty sure no one else wants to hear it either.

3) We have an election this Saturday and there are two imperfect but willing and qualified candidates running. The good news for pro-lifers like me is that both candidates have asserted their dedication to the party platform. Neither candidate embraces the pro-abortion anti-family agenda. Each has offered their vision for the party and we’ll all have to face the reality that whoever wins, we are going to have to get along with each other. I noted in an earlier blog that this is really the first time that the AZ GOP Chairman’s race has been taken to the internet. That means a lot more time and information has allowed everyone to throw roses and mud. I hope that when the election is called Saturday afternoon, something good will grow out of it. I have a lot of friends on both sides of this race and my desire is that we walk away from this stronger and better prepared to win city council races this year and state and national elections in 2008.

Does this “can’t we all just get along” tone mean I am compromising on principle or the platform? Absolutely not! There are those of us in the party and who write for this blog that need to play the role of North Star and keep the party true to its course. I believe like others, that this is my purpose in the party. Our party will always need “North Star” Republicans because without them, it will turn into what the Democrats have become – coalitions of liberal special interest groups.

With all that said, I hope I’ve cleared the air to the point we can all go back to our political jousting only doing so in a much more chivalrous manner.

DSW


Comments

  1. One quick afterword.

    I have to agree with one of my fellow bloggers who said, “I don’t know why anyone would run for chairman of the party. It’s a thankless, difficult job that almost all have left having received more criticism than praise.”

  2. Nathan Sproul says

    Shane,

    Let me be the first to compliment you on an outstanding post. You and I have obviously exchanged several emails over the last couple days. I really think your heart for conservative issues and reasonable dialogue came through extremely well.

    I encourage you to consider ending the anonymity of the writers. It is more than apparent that many of your contributors don’t agree with me on some subjects. However, I think the shield of anonymity makes it easy for people to say things that are far more malicious than they would say if they were held accountable.

    Overall, I applaud your effort and the attempt to do it in a way that is respectful. Thank you again.

  3. Nightcrawler says

    The beautiful thing about a blog featuring pseudonyms is that ideas flow in a very pure and natural way. It is the straight tonic. Sure once in a while a malcontent will cross the line. Overall, this particular blog does a fine job of facilitating fresh banter. It is the place to be. The blog itself becomes newsworthy as ideas are exchanged in real time.
    In an age of Google, many people do not want their identities revealed for political, business or personal reasons. Forcing bloggers to identify themselves will result in fewer and frankly more boring blogs, see the opinion page of the paper as an example. You have the recipe right. Leave it be.

  4. Together we win- apart we have more of the same says

    Do unto others

  5. Thank you for your service to the community. This is an excellent way of hearing the other side that doesn’t get printed in the liberal newspapers. As for anonymity, it doesn’t bother me except that when people make outrageous remarks but won’t say who they are it seems a bit unprofessional. As for me, I don’t care what people think about me. Like me or hate me; I don’t care. Of course that may help or hurt at election time. Either people will respect you for being straight forward and vote for you or despise you for being arrogant and vote the other way.

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