“I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.”
I discovered this quote while doing research for a blog last year; it was a new introduction to the words and wisdom of, arguably, our country’s greatest president, Thomas Jefferson. Since finding the quote, I’ve delved deeper into the words and deeds of our Founders. Their bold and brave acts laid the foundation for a new nation; we can learn so much from these great men – Mr. Jefferson’s quote inspired the title and mission for this blog.
Each week, The Bold Pursuit publishes a quote from a Founder, such as Thomas Jefferson. I find it, at the very least, remarkable that their words are as relevant today as they were during the birth of our country.
Having said that, the purpose of this article is to respond to comments made by a reader that I deemed inappropriate and deleted. As stated in the new TBP Comments and Blog Submissions policy, I “will reject any comment that threatens violence, uses hate speech, personal attacks, attempts to contact or provoke confrontations with other posters or is irrelevant to the content presented.
The Bold Pursuit aspires to a higher level of political commentary and discourse. If you don’t like the information presented, by all means, post a comment and, politely, present your argument – we do not guarantee publication. Kindly remember that The Bold Pursuit is a conservative political blog and our content reflects our core beliefs.”
While I don’t wish to impinge on anyone’s right to free speech, I do intend to keep TBP free from hate speech, trolls, antagonistic posts and irrelevant comments. It’s my blog, thus my rules.
I strive to “walk my talk” regarding The Bold Pursuit of knowledge and never fearing to follow truth and reason, per Mr. Jefferson’s quote. The integrity of this blog (and my integrity as a writer) is of paramount importance to me. So, let me put my hardline stance in perspective:
A year and a half ago, I joined a network devoted to supporting Governor Sarah Palin. During my first week in this group, an email arrived with the subject line: “too funny, you gotta see this…” Unfortunately, I opened the email and saw a photo of a man who was, apparently, a “victim” of a sexual assault. I can’t find a more delicate way of describing that disturbing and sickening image.
The email was sent through our network to over 70,000 members because they support a woman who is, illogically, “hated” by so many liberal Americans (and others, to be fair) – this email wasn’t an isolated event.
I joined the network’s media watchdog group, a community that attempts to confront and correct inaccurate media reports regarding Governor Palin. After working with the group for several months, I tired of trying to reason with vicious and juvenile posters who had no regard for the truth – they just wanted to trash Sarah Palin. This mind-set makes little sense to me.
Having this experience taught me a few things, some of which I was already aware: you can’t convert anyone to your beliefs – there must be an open and inquisitive mind that seeks more knowledge or truth.
Some people get their jollies out of baiting those who disagree with their ideologies (if, indeed, they actually have ideologies of their own) – facts are meaningless to them. Just try arguing with this type (and these people exist throughout the political spectrum; no one has cornered the market on idiocy); when confronted with facts they resort to insults and epithets.
The Bold Pursuit was born out of a need to interact with other conservatives who share my reverence for our Founding Documents and concerns about the current administration and its agenda for this nation. TBP was never intended to be a troll magnet or a place for angry confrontations. Play nice and you can post your dissenting POV. My mind isn’t closed, so if you provide a convincing, articulate argument I may change my mind and embrace your views. It’s happened before…
Below are some comments (I wasn’t able to retrieve all of his comments) made by the aforementioned poster (he sent another comment while I was writing this blog. I will answer THAT comment at the end of this note). My responses are inserted within his comments.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Obama: AWOL at Arlington on Memorial Day":
Facts are not conservative or liberal. Ideology, opinion, and interpretations of facts can be considered to carry those labels.
The simple facts, without the baggage of labels are: Obama did pay tribute to the fallen soldiers, at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetary. It is misleading to imply that he did not pay tribute because he did not attend Arlington.
Reagan missed 4 Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington out of his two terms.
George H.W. Bush missed all 4 Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington, 3 while on vacation in Maine, one while in Rome, during is single term. (Again, he was only president for one term, so all of his absences were indeed during his first term.)
George W. Bush missed one, during his first term and after the start of the Afghanistan war, and skipped the Veterans Day service at Arlington in 2007, to vacation at his ranch in Texas.
Like I said in my first attempt to post here, I can understand one having the opinion that presidents have an obligation to be at Arlington on Memorial Day. Personally, I believe that all fallen soldiers are equally deserving of respect, and Obama attending a ceremony at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Chicago is not an insult.
(TBP: You’re entitled to your opinion, Springfield, but Mr. Obama opted for a personal vacation instead of the traditional Arlington ceremony. We’re a nation at war and that factors into whether his absence was appropriate or not.)
Many past presidents, including the last three republican presidents, have not attended Arlington, and failed to attend any other National Cemetery ceremonies. Obama attended ceremonies at a large National Cemetery.
(TBP: no one is disputing that other presidents have missed the event. However, the blog begins with “For the first time since 1992…” A reader did point out that President George W. Bush was absent in 2002, so I amended the blog, with gratitude, to reflect that fact.)
Again, I understand that one may have the opinion that all presidents ought to be at Arlington. But I am of the opinion that judging presidents’ actions ought to be done in a fair way, with an open mind.
Where was the uproar between 89 and 92 when George H.W. failed to attend a single ceremony at Arlington? The fact is that this appears to be a new standard being used to insult and question the President of the United States, and it is not being fairly applied. Rather, it is being used as political fodder in a most disingenuous way.
(TBP: Again, the blog begins “For the first time since 1992…” There is no new standard to insult and question the presidency; if you read the rest of the blog, you’ll see that Mr. Obama has established a pattern of disrespect for our military and our national security. That’s TBP’s position and, apparently, an opinion shared by many conservatives, as well as military veterans and those currently serving in uniform (many have contacted me).
There seems to be a double standard in how this is being treated. I want people to have all the facts and have the opportunity to make their assessments fully informed. One does not need to change their opinion of Obama in light of these facts, but they may need to reassess their opinion of past presidents and of the context of the situation.
(TBP: this is why I don’t want antagonistic debate on TBP: whining about double-standards. If I decided to engage in a debate with you on this issue, I’d run out of bandwidth while citing incidents of double-standards in the media against conservatives. I have no argument with the full presentation of facts; I conduct extensive research for every blog – and, no, Fox News is NOT my only source. I send my blog to a number of individuals for review. However, mistakes happen and I’ll take responsibility them when/if they happen.)
Mostly, I would hope that one may understand how the media manipulates facts and withholds important information in order to manipulate the beliefs and ideas of viewers. Today, it really is necessary to do a little extra leg work before believing things we hear and read.
(TBP: as noted above, I research facts, using multiple sources, for each blog that I write. Please, don’t lecture me about media manipulation of the facts. I was a publicist for 10 years – I know the media. I also know that most mainstream media malfeasance is primarily on behalf of liberals. If you review my earlier blogs, you’ll find documentation that supports what most of us know: journalists are predominantly liberal and many admit to using their medium to influence opinion.)
Again, I apologize if you thought my previous post was an attack. I agree that hostile comments have no place and do not further our understanding. However, refusing to contemplate other points of view and denying relevant facts is more dangerous and suspect than hostile comments, in my opinion. While we may seek to reinforce our beliefs and challenge the beliefs of others, it does us no good if we refuse to see where we might be wrong. Our goal should not be to defend conservatism or liberalism at any cost. The goal should be to be correct in what we know as often as possible and make judgments and decisions based on well examined evidence.
(TBP: your apology is noted and appreciated. I agree with the last sentence of your paragraph and always endeavor to bring objectivity to my work. If you were more familiar with my blogs, you would know that I strive for accuracy and fairness, regardless of my political beliefs. In fact, I, precipitously, as it turns out, posted a blog supporting Senator Bart Stupak prior to the health care reform vote.)
Regarding "Trolls, hostile comments, and censorship"
If you are referring to the post I made regarding the facts of presidents and Arlington Cemetery Memorial Day attendance, then I would like to respond. I can understand how my last post seemed hostile. It was a little, I am not denying it. Anyway, I apologize for my hostility, and I will attempt to make my points again, sans hostility. Please, post my comment, consider what it says, and let your readers consider it as well. However, I have only posted one day, not two days, and I never attempted to "reach" anybody, so maybe you are referring to another poster. Anyway, you have not posted my comment, so I am assuming you mean me.
(TBP: Again, apology accepted. Also, I noted in an additional comment that it seems “Sacramento” was the culprit in the attempt to make contact with and provoke another poster, so I owe you an apology : )
Since I began writing this note late this morning, you’ve written another comment, noting that you’re “certainly not used to having to wait for comments to be approved before being posted…” Well, TBP’s comments are moderated and for good reasons. As for the lack of immediate response; I am a small business owner and have personal responsibilities that supersede comment approval or deletion on my blog. Perhaps in the future, TBP will have a staff that can respond more quickly to your remarks.
We’ll end this here, Springfield; your comment was posted and I responded. I believe we are at a stalemate. I appreciate the apology and articulate response. I don’t agree with most of your arguments, but you’re entitled to them. I hope you will continue to visit The Bold Pursuit and share your thoughts with us; if presented politely, I will publish them.
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