It might surprise you, since I have a politically themed blog, that I do not write for the purpose of converting all of my Facebook friends to my way of thinking. If, in the course of reading my blog, anyone decides that they do agree with me after all, I’ll consider myself pretty lucky. If, in the course of reading my blog, someone decides they want to grow closer to Jesus, I’ll consider that His work, not mine.
What I want to accomplish with this blog is more along the lines of “edification of the saints” or “rallying of the troops.” My intended audience is someone who already leans in my general direction, but perhaps isn’t knowledgeable about a particular topic. After all, you have lives! I imagine that my average reader has one or more from the following list: job, spouse, kids, friends, hobbies. If you don’t have the inclination or energy to do the research on every headline that piques your curiosity in a day, I don’t blame you. What I plan to do is choose topics that are relevant and then capsulize them for you. What is relevant to you one day may not be what is relevant to someone else the next. Right now the blog is just my thoughts with tidbits of geek news just because it’s who I am, not because I think it’s what the Republican party needs right now. (Though, they could learn to be more internet savvy, for sure.)
Curious about the sudden desire to explain myself? It turns out that, while many of my friends have been encouraging of my new direction, there are a few people on Facebook who seem to think it is their job to educate me. I hate to break it to you, if you’re reading this, but I’m not going to change my mind. The reasons for my beliefs are deeply ingrained and, in many cases, directly tied to my faith. So, spare both of us your broad generalizations about how I’m wrong. I don’t buy it.
And while I’m on the subject, I’m not trying to change your mind either. The thing is, most people have rather shallow reasons for being a member of one party or an other. Those whose beliefs are not strong either way are the coveted “swing votes.” I will sometimes aim an interesting tidbit at the swing voters, hoping that the preponderance of evidence will eventually sway them. But if you have strong beliefs—be them right, left, or center—I know better than try to convince you.
Now, I do enjoy a friendly debate. So, if you have something you want to discuss, come armed with facts, and expect me to do the same. I am surprisingly open-minded. In many cases, I’ll consider your side before rejecting it, and I will always try to have a concrete reason for doing so. But, debate must be a two-way street. If you use generalizations or politically correct trash talk, if you refuse to even consider that my points are just as valid as yours, then my new policy is to politely end the conversation. If you wish to continue in private, I might entertain that, but only if it seems productive. I do love learning new things and exposing myself to new ideas, but if your basic premise is that I’m ignorant, you’ve got another thing coming.
So, Facebook friends, if you are a member of my family or a longstanding friend, I hope you’ll stick around and be part of my life, despite my newfound voice. If you’re only here to try to talk me into your way of thinking, feel free to save us both the trouble and un-friend me.
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