Monday, April 19


The following preamble introduces the discussion entitled "Voting for Life." The contributions to the discussion are archived from April 18 downward to April 1, so that they can be read chronologically by scrolling from top to bottom. Each contribution is marked with its original date of composition.
One of the drawbacks of the argumentative blogging world is perhaps the risk of closing oneself within an echo chamber of free-wheeling consensus that is punctured only on occasion by the sharp tone of a stray troll. Being new to blogging, I cannot generalize beyond the description of this "risk," but I wonder if the sustained, civil exchange of differences in opinion is a rare thing for bloggers to blog.

In a series of occasional posts to follow, I would like to present a (for the most part, civil) exchange between me and a long-time acquaintance, both of whom, for different reasons, are disaffected Democrats. Whereas I bemoan the increasing influence of corporate money on the Democratic party and on the campaign process generally, my acquaintance, Robert, is a devout Catholic who supports the Democrats on most issues but finds himself voting against them consistently because of their support for abortion/reproductive rights.

The exchange, which took place before the systematic torture and abuse of human rights by the U.S. military at the behest, irresponsible ignorance, or complicit indifference of its highest commanders was brought to wide-scale public attention through the publication of photos from the Abu Ghraib prison, concerns pressing questions of the quality of popular media in the United States, the War in Iraq, abortion, life, John Kerry's platform, George Bush's record in office, and justice.

In presenting this exchange, I hope others will join in by way of the comments box, or "constructive thoughts box" as I labeled it. I will identify the different posts that come from the exchange with the common title "Voting for life" and number the posts to distinguish them from posts dealing with other topics.