I’m blown away — as well as humbled, delighted and honored. I put up a post this past weekend that had the potential for being controversial. But I decided to risk it, because I felt the subject was important to discuss.
The word “controversial,” as it turns out, was an understatement. The comments came pouring in, the passion was high, and the disagreement with me, in particular, was profound.
Yet the input was the best I’ve ever had on a Ricochet post. We are approaching 300 comments, and have elevated the art of discussion and debate to a new level. People from opposite sides, at this moment, are actually ribbing each other. Why did this post not degrade into a hateful, nasty outing?
Because at some level, maybe even deeply unconscious, everyone decided to honor what Ricochet is all about: civil conversation.
Don’t misunderstand: we had our moments. Sarcasm, painful gibes, doubting a person’s sanity (well, not exactly, but I was called naïve and ignorant). We even had a moderator step in a few times (hat tip to @jdsnapp), but the redactions, when questioned, were graciously explained, and the commenter acknowledged her reasoning with humor. Then everyone continued the conversation.
I stepped in a few times myself, cautioning people about their words. One time I told a person I resented his criticism of me; he graciously explained that he was not talking about me (he was using the generic “you,” not me specifically) but he was very kind in stating that I didn’t understand how serious the situation was. When things did get a little dicey, people pulled back, rarely took the bait, and the conversation continued.
The discussion was truly a thing of beauty.
Not only were people impassioned, they were thoughtful. Not only were they angry, but they voiced their deep concern with politics in Washington. Links were provided for relevant information and people were thanked for them. The comments greatly broadened my understanding around the controversy of the Mueller investigation.
I want to thank every single person who commented, who stayed engaged (a very large percentage continued to “follow” the post, although I don’t know how closely), and who simply followed the conversation.
It was obvious that even the most cynical people were deeply invested in helping the US move into the future. The love of country, desire to preserve its values and restore its integrity was manifest.
It has been one of my most humbling and gratifying experiences on Ricochet.