by Maori, Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:17:15 PM EDT
I don't have a personal relationship with many diarists here, and the ones I do, know me, and know how much work I've put into this campaign since last year.
Those relationships have caused me to think a lot about what I expect from from friendships (such as they are online), campaigns, and political websites.
I understand that many did not share my excitement, and even went as far as to deride that excitement, but I didn't let it dampen my efforts. I phonebanked, donated, and registration drived with the best of them, and figured detractors would find their own way.
My first understanding of Mydd, was as it was described to me, as 'An Obama hate site', I wanted to see for myself. This was during the thick of the most turbulent of the primary wars, when Obama supporters were being banned en masse, and Alegre was pretty much ruling the roost. I did a good enough job of keeping quiet, and just lurking, to retain my user privileges, but with the distinct impression that I wasn't really welcome.
I waited it out. Things got better after the primaries for the most part, The Banned got their privileges back, PUMA left, and the atmosphere was generally milder. There were still flare-ups, but I basically began to feel more comfortable.
That comfort was short lived. I understood the issue from both sides. Hillary supporters were glad to have a place of their own, and Obama supporters were...well...not Hillary supporters. I did ok with that, and met some cool people, but I still felt reluctant to really jump in. I wasn't sure what to do, either I could bust out some pro-Obama diaries, and feel I was forcing myself on a community that didn't really want me, or I could continue to wait, and comment when I felt the need. I chose to wait.
While I was waiting, people began to leave, expressing many of the same concerns I had. Then I read a post from Jerome, basically threatening the people who were complaining, then they were being called 'purity trolls'.
I found that interesting. With so many here voicing support for 'dissent', why would only dissent among the majority count as valid 'freedom of speech'? In other words, it's only 'dissent' when it's a negative comment about Obama, but if it's a comment about the negativity, it's 'purity trolling'.
So now I have questions. Are Obama supporters really welcome here? I keep seeing posts telling people who don't want him to be trashed to leave. I don't think it's asking too much for people who seek to disrupt the nomination, or undermine the Democratic party to be redirected. Who gets more of a say, people who write diaries, or people who actually get out and work for campaigns? Who gets to be the Champions of Democracy that tell people how to feel about being insulted?
I understand that it's not my blog, nor does it belong to those intent on purging the 'purity', so I think that makes us about even. I think a clearer definition of this sites purpose is needed. I can deal with it being just a place for people to get together and talk about the election, meet up, or whatever, then all the chaos makes more sense.
If it's a place for Democrats to strategize, compare notes, and share news, then why are people who expect that threatened or told to leave?
Anyway, I'm sorry I didn't get to know more of the diarists who are taking off, I hope you all can find sites where you feel valued and respected. Everyone else, I seriously don't mean to offend anyone, these are my honest feelings, and as this is my first diary here, they've been building up for a while, hence the effusiveness. I'll probably be pounced on for this being my first diary, but I hope those people can understand why I wouldn't feel entirely welcome, and how that would contribute to my reluctance.