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Forgotten?

Posted by JudyS on 10/08/03 at 10:55 (132795)

It seems that many have forgotten the original reason political discussions were problematic. It was never because of the content itself, it was because of the anger the discussions inevitably generated making things unpleasant for everyone. That's happened every single time there has been involved political discussion here. It was never about free speech - which, by the way, is a concept developed for governing. In private arenas folks are free to make their own rules.

It was also because the topic seemed to lend itself to some seriously nasty stuff and those participating did not seem to want to regulate that.

It was also because many, many folks became afraid to participate in political discussions because of heavy browbeating and insults by those with opposing points-of-view. Then we found that that same rancor, granted in far less tangible ways, transferred itself to more innocous discussions.

And sometimes it was because of the overwhelming amount of words written by just one or two participants - an amount which dwarfed those who were trying to have a balanced conversation.

Can we have political discussions here while also respecting those concerns?

I was at a dinner party in Michigan a couple of weeks ago with my sister and her husband. The dinner was one in an ongoing series of gourmet club get-togethers. All participants were members of the same church.
The club has one rule - participants are not allowed to talk about church politics. Why? Because they'd found that that discussion always, always led to anger and hurt. It was more important for those friends to maintain a fun and friendly atmosphere in that setting by moving more sensitive subject matter to more appropriate venues.

So, can we have both the kind of 'free speech' that is such a concern for political discussion proponants as well as the dignity, respect and peace the opposition wants? I guess that depends on every individual involved.

Re: Forgotten?

Ed Davis, DPM on 10/08/03 at 12:20 (132805)

Judy:
Your points are very well taken. Most of us who enjoy political discussion enjoy discussion, not argument. We WANT opposing points of view expressed about the issues and concepts without personalizing the issues and without insults.
Ed

Re: Forgotten?

marie on 10/08/03 at 15:57 (132889)

Judy,

Thanks so much for all your input. It is appreciated! I really think this is the best solution. I hope that you will continue to be part of our family here at heelspurs. You are a wonderful addition to this eclectic group. Hope to hear from you on the Social/Support Board. Life just wouldn't be the same around here without you.

Best wishes marie

I don't know about you but I need beer!

Re: Forgotten?

John H on 10/08/03 at 18:11 (132918)

Judy: what is this garbage i read about you leaving. I know you are made of tougher stuff than that. I have been dressed down so many times on this board I could not count them. In the military we had an old expression 'it all counts towards 20'. Meaning it can get really bad but each day counts.
Drag yourself on back and do not be your stubbon self. You are needed.

Re: Forgotten?

JudyS on 10/08/03 at 19:28 (132925)

John, nobody 'dressed me down' here. You know nothing about my attitudes, re: toughness or stubborness, in my decision-making about this website so I'll thank you not to presume those on me.

Re: Forgotten?

John H on 10/08/03 at 20:22 (132938)

ouch!

Re: Forgotten?

Dorothy on 10/09/03 at 04:31 (133015)

I really hope you can find your way away from your anger - and in my opinion anger usually comes from hurt - and feel that you are among friends again. So you don't like everybody or you don't like what everybody says. Can't you ignore what you don't like? You have choices here. I understand that it doesn't matter, but I have a new appreciation for what you have said and done here from having done some 'historical' reading yesterday. It would be a loss to the site for you to let your anger with some aspects of the website keep you away. I have gotten angry here - and elsewhere - and it's hard for me to demonstrate that I have moved away from the anger back into a happier frame of mind even when that is what I want to do. I hope that is not how you are and that you will realize that you are wanted and needed here and you can have that happen in a way that is comfortable for you if you will just ignore or not take part in what you don't like. For me, an example is when I go to a video rental store and they have what they call 'adult' vidoes in a designated area...I know I don't want to see those so I don't go there. Do I wish that only what I consider great movies were made? Yes. But I don't rule the world (If I ruled the world...now there's a sweet fantasy...) In any case, I hope that with a little time, you will realize that John H. appeared to be trying to reach out to you in a conciliatory, peaceable and understanding way; he sounded kind to my reading eyes. I think you were reacting only with anger, but that is not who you are. I don't know you, true, but I have read others of your posts and they were different from what you have been writing tonight. Maybe you are hurt and afraid that the social/support or even the wider heelspurs will be hurt by this change, but I don't think that can or will happen. If there is any danger of that happening, then anybody and everybody should intervene to see that it is not hurt. Beyond that, if it is mainly a reaction to a particular person or people - Ed or others - whom you don't like, try to get beyond it. Are you upset that he won't change and be more the way you think he should be? Isn't that a contradiction, given how you reacted to the rather gentle words of John H.about yourself? I can understand getting angry about a political circumstance or a social condition or matters like that, but I don't understand the great anger about this change in the message board adding a new category.
Try, please, to just let it pass over you and come on back to the Social/Support category and other categories that you like and try, please, to remember that people here are not your enemies. For the most part, I think they are friends, in the virtual sense. As for the dinner conversation example you gave, that is one way to deal with such matters and it apparently is the one that works for that group of friends; but there are also friends who engage in heated, opinionated, sometimes angry discussions - about politics, religion, philosophy, you name it - and still remain friends, maybe even better friends because of their comfort and safety to let fly (with boundaries of caring and decency) without fear of losing friends because of it. Just different ways. I do think that some people here crossed a line of decency and I said so, but those weren't political discussions. I do think the long cut/pastes are a problem and should be curtailed, but that is not only if they are political. Well, enough from me. I hope you stay. I hope you will reconsider John H.'s hand of friendship. But none of it is my business, really.

Re: Forgotten?

JudyS on 10/09/03 at 09:17 (133039)

I know, or, I guess, assume, Dorothy that you are very well-meaning in your post. It was obviously thoughtfully written. Dorothy, you presume anger and/or hurt on me when you really don't know. In my original 'forgotten' post I neither felt nor demonstrated anger or hurt. What you do know about me now is that I resent having anyone presume 'feelings' on me. And, while I sure respect your opinions, the last thing I need here, after three and a half years, is a lecture on how I should 'be' emotionally. The other last thing I need is being told I'm stubborn. You thought it was kindness, I thought it was presumptious and rude. I sure hope I've demonstrated far more strength of character than that in three and a half years.

You presume that I 'don't like everybody or I don't like what everybody says' but I don't feel that way, never have and have always shown that. I even liked Ed until I watched him browbeat yet another group of posters.

The ONLY thing I don't 'like' is the fact that problems have always resulted from political discourse here and the fact that those who insist on political discourse here have shown zero respect for that fact. And that's all I've had trouble with until now - until I watched a group of babies whine to Scott because their political discussion toy was taken away.

No, I'm not upset that Ed or anyone won't 'change'. I couldn't care less. What would be the point? I'm upset that Ed and his gang got away with browbeating not only posters this time but Scott as well.

I'm upset that I know what this website was BEFORE politics was introduced. I'm upset that the political lobbyists couldn't respect that by simply taking their politics to an appropriate site.

You are right, I think, that, in some instances, it was a 'line of decency' that was crossed - not the topic itself. But that occured within political posts! That would be my point - political discussions seem to lend themselves to all degrees of disrespect.

Well, whatever. I sure do thank you for the time and thoughtfulness you put in this recent post. You always seem to be pretty succinct and dignified. And I'd like to agree with you on another item - it's time for me to let go. I am past the point where I could do so graciously, but I'll at least be able to teach ED what it means to let go at a relatively appropriate time.

Re: Forgotten?

john h on 10/09/03 at 10:40 (133079)

The FIRST complaing came from several people who wrote Scott requesting that all dissicusion of Politics be banned. What followed was many people did not like the restriction of discussion topics.These people represented point of view that are both Liberal and Conservative. The majority of the posters indicate by vote that they would like a forum more unrestriced.The problem has never been the topic of politics. The problem has been a difference of philosopy on many issues. Politics just happened to be the most current one. I hope this is all over and will go away. it is time to move on. I personally do not think there were any losers on this issue...

Re: Forgotten?

JudyS on 10/09/03 at 11:20 (133093)

No John, that is incorrect. Not one person asked Scott to abolish political discussion. What Scott said was that he was abolishing it because some folks had complained about it's rancorous nature - and that it was a historical problem. There was no majority in the vote - some folks had simply ignored the boards after they were intimidated for agreeing with Scott thereby failing to even know there was a vote.
I thought the vote was a pretty good idea. Yes, the problem WAS always politics. Not their content, not their different points of view. Not the philosophys expressed in them. But rather that they always introduced rancor and that rancor always spilled over. We have a recorded history, evidence, if you will, of that.
Yes, there are losers and would have been either way. They are the folks who don't, or wouldn't have, come back here as an indirect result of political discourse. And yes, there are winners too - on all sides.

Re: Forgotten?

Dorothy on 10/09/03 at 15:08 (133139)

Thank you for the response as well. I will keep trying to understand what everyone is talking about.