Sunday, August 17, 2003

Political discourse in the blogosphere

When I started this blog it was initially just a place where I could write down my thoughts on various day-to-day topics. But I soon found other people in the area and around the state who were also blogging and through the miracle of crosslinking and comments I was soon absorbed into a virtual community of folks who are both politically active and intellectually stimulating.
As I have wandered about the blogosphere I have come across web logs representing all aspects of the political spectrum - from far left to far right - and I have noticed that some are more open to political discourse than others.

Lately I have been forming a theory of political discourse for bloggers. Political bloggers can be grouped into four major categories:

1. Liberal Idealists
2. Liberal Pragmatists
3. Conservative Pragmatists
4. Conservative Idealists

Liberal Idealists can get along with Liberal Pragmatists, but no one else.
Liberal Pragmatists can get along with Liberal Idealists and Conservative Pragmatists, but not Conservative Idealists.
Conservative Pragmatists can get along with Conservative Idealists and Liberal Pragmatists, but not Liberal Idealists
Conservative Idealists can get along with Conservative Pragmatists, but no one else.

An idealist is someone who is committed to a political ideal and is not willing to compromise their position.
A pragmatist is someone who is willing to compromise their position in order to reach a consensus.

I like to think of myself as a Liberal Pragmatist, but I will occasionally slip into the category of Liberal Idealist. Most people probably do not stay in one category all the time and may fit into several different categories depending upon the topic at hand. However, the overall tilt of a blog will usually fall into one of these four groups a majority of the time.

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