Toward a Unified Movement

Although it’s wise to hesitate before giving too much weight to one exchange and one piece of writing, I’m very encouraged that my general approach to movement politics appears to have resonated with Randy Jackvony (pixellation victim):

I asked another blogger, Justin Katz of, what he thought about political discourse over the Internet. His comments — much like his blog posts — were enlightening and made me think of the whole situation in a different way. “Since it is so open and free, there’s certainly an element of coarseness. One of the advantages that I find blogs to have is that they are somewhat immediate … people don’t spend days on end composing comments, but they are written and chronological, so readers can more easily observe how arguments are constructed.”
But if cyber political commentary is rough (as with, is the message more or less effective? “If a generally mild and considered commenter reacts acerbically to something in particular, the biting nature of the response has some power,” Katz wrote in an e-mail. He added, when politeness “subdues a just anger, it distorts the reality for those who derive their understanding of the situation from the public debate … as long as a group makes a conscious effort to be honest and willing to address counterarguments, a bit of acerbity is justified.”
After corresponding with Katz, I began to look at in a different light. While many Internet comments are posted under the protection of anonymity (which can be used as a shield by cowards unwilling or unable to defend their arguments), I’m sure the Cranston GOP would be willing to discuss these issues as much as possible.
So if they don’t overuse this tactic, the Cranston GOP may have a good tool in for getting its message out.

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16 years ago

“comments are posted under the protection of anonymity (which can be used as a shield by cowards unwilling or unable to defend their arguments”
“Jesse from Cranston” comes to mind…

16 years ago

I’m glad they finally got the site up. Short and to the point, and painfully accurate. Good for the Cranston GOP!
In regard to Randy, I’m not sure what to make of his comments. From what I can discern, he seems to be agreeing with the content of the site, but possibly taking issue with the “coarseness” of the name for it? Could someone explain the overall point better, because I was not able to clearly ascertain it from the article.
PS While it’s always good to get positive ink, I’m not sure that you would want Randy “on your side.” He’s probably a nice enough guy (I suspect I must have met him somewhere along the way politically, but for the life of me, I can’t even visualize him), but he’s also completely irrelevant as a political force or entity in the GOP.

Justin Katz
16 years ago

Being far too political, Will, you miss the point. Laugh if you will, but I’m simply on Rhode Island’s side. Citizens’ side. Only incidentally on the GOP’s side.
I’ve very much enjoyed your company on that handful of times that we’ve conversed, and I certainly consider us to be on the same side. But I have to say that there’s something misplaced and counterproductive in your eagerness to label a potential ally as “irrelevant.”
A news flash for RIGOP insiders: We aren’t going to steamroll our way to a transformation of our state. If you can’t find ways to persuade those who are at least moderately inclined to agree with you, then you will prove to be irrelevant.
Funny thing about conservative morals (which is to say, from my point of view, Christian morals): you get to be both confident and big. None of us is sufficiently important for the price of others’ absolution to be an unbidden overture in our direction. Even God seeks ways in which to guide the wayward toward repentance.
Hell’s got a place for the righteous who nonetheless lose sight of the intrinsic value of each individual. A lesson can be derived from that assertion even for those who insist on stripping it of religious imagery.

16 years ago

Of course, I’m not an “insider” (I like to think of it as more like being an “outsider” who interacts with the “insiders” on a regular basis). Transformative change first of all requires people who are commmitted to seeking positive change. People who may benefit from the “way things are” (the status quo) tend to stand in the way of bringing that about. Simply having someone on your side isn’t always enough — you also need them not to weigh you down. Politics is a lot like finance, you have assets and you have liabilities. You can only be one or the other. I was actually trying not to come off as “too political,” as I really don’t know Randy from a hill of beans. As far as I know, I’ve never met him — and if I may have along the way, I was certainly not left with any lasting impression. That’s neither good nor bad — it simply is. In order to be relevant, you have to make yourself relevant — that applies to Randy, just as much as anyone else. The small point which I was trying to make — and which I’m still making — is that I’m not sure what Randy specifically has done since he lost his city council seat in 2002 to be considered “relevant” to the GOP or anywhere else. Of course, as a registered Republican voter in Cranston, he’s relevant in so much as someone running for public office who may want his single vote is concerned. To my knowledge, I’ve never seen him attend or speak at a state GOP meeting, and I’m not even sure if he’s involved with the Cranston GOP at any level. Are you perhaps suggest that we try to do something more to entice him… Read more »

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