Monday, June 20, 2005

Is There No Room For Dissent on the Left?

I ask this question because of the brutal, vulgar, and mean-spirited response I received here about my post saying that we should not leave Iraq at the present time. For those of you who don't want to subject yourself to it, here's a list of things I have been called in the main post and the comments:

Main Post:
"Mr. Gutless"
"Mr. Warmonger"

From the lovely comments:
"your Thomas Friedman thingy"--a low blow if there ever was one...
"stupid-ass, delusional, pompous, cowardly"

People said "fuck you" to me and other things that frankly I am not going to print here.


Is there room for dissent? I made a relatively mild case for staying in Iraq for the time being. I never supported the war. But I do think that given the options that are on the table right now, options which are all bad, that we should stay there for the time being. For that dissent from Left orthodoxy, the comments above. Did I deserve this? Does anyone deserve this? Perhaps if I had claimed the inferiority of a certain race I would deserve such comments. Or maybe if I said that mass murder of Iraqis would be a good thing. But did I say something that outside the pale? For my dissent on immediate withdrawal, I am attacked ad hominen.

If I were receiving these attacks from Republicans, I would be proud. Instead I am deeply upset. I'm sitting here shaking as I type. Not even Bob Wills can make me feel better right now. This makes me quite depressed and it even makes me question whether I should continue with this blog, except that to do so would be a capitulation and what these people would want.

So what is the tolerance for dissent on the left? I knew it was bad on the Right. I should have known that it would be just as bad on the Left. But I am absolutely shocked and saddened that I am attacked like this, more because of what it says about independent thinking on the Left than for personal attacks upon myself.

I feel like I should say more here, but I'm too upset to continue.