Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Saturday, October 23, 2004

To Debate or Not to Debate....

Wow. Where to begin... For starters, I needed to go ahead and get my own blog up and running if I'm gonna start the ol' Lincoln-Douglas thing with my old friend Andy. Except I'm not a Republican... and I haven't debated in years... Oh well.

I want to say right off the bat that I have my doubts about doing this. Already I'm catching an attitude off of Andy's post that I don't think I would have gotten if we were speaking face to face. Maybe I'm just reading too much into it, but lately the liberal side of the aisle has gotten extremely strident to the point where rational discourse is a difficult thing.

I've known Andy for 13+ years, though, through drunken TARAL road trips and Attack Of The Xtian Sister, and too many other adventures to count. The last thing I want is the heat to slowly increase until the kettle is boiling and neither one of us can hop out, thereby killing a friendship. Hopefully he feels the same way.

The fact is, though, that I'm a small-"L" libertarian (look it up) who stands for national sovereignty, personal responsibility, and individual freedom. Andy, IMHO, is more of a social-justice oriented Anarcho-Democrat. (don't look that one up, it ain't there). The two stances are not mutually exclusive orientations. Our political Venn diagrams intersect on several points, but I'd be misrepresenting the case if I claimed they're moving closer together over the years.

Therein lies the rub.... Do you continue to critique each other's posts, and slowly add a thin layer of disagreement after another? After a while, that shell's pretty tough to crack. I was there by him when he got married. I'd like to be there when his child is born. It seems illogical that a spat over who's the next occupant of the White House could threaten that.

On the other hand, there's times when I just can't let a remark go unchallenged. Not just because I disagree with a friend's comments, but especially because it's a friend of mine that I perceive as veering into the dangerous waters of irrational thought or emotional diatribes. Andy and I tend to associate with people of uncommon mental horsepower for the simple reason that the give and take of enlightened debate is intellectually stimulating. When emotion takes over, though, logic inevitably takes a back seat.

I'm not saying that I'm immune from getting P.O.'ed over political issues, but when you're sitting out of the line of fire of the the Repub/Dem broadsides, you do have a perspective that's less tainted by party affiliation.

So, let's just take this slow. Hell, it may all die down by Election Day.

But I wouldn't count on it.