In response to Tom Matlack, Mark Ellis wonders whether straying into politics may hurt The Good Men Project.
Your post yesterday about Rick Santorum was a good illustration of why I think partisan politics is a slippery slope for the site.
GMP asks contributors to submit honest essays and creative nonfiction in a forum which will encourage debate but ostensibly be kept free of hate coming from any point on the political spectrum. The comments of Daniel were most welcome, he really nailed it. Gays, cross-dressers, and transsexuals all post with the sense that they will be free of hateful judgments, and that’s how it should be. But Daniel pointed out that there seems to be a blind spot in the moderation when it comes to Republicans.
If that’s the way you want to go, that’s fine–I’m no stranger to that scene. You may have a need to establish or reaffirm your progressive credentials. Perhaps funding is even on the line. There are so many things contributors don’t know and don’t need to know. Believe me, I understand funding–my highest paying writing gig ended when our investors pulled out in 2008. I also understand the ugliness of partisan politics–I am paid to do battle in that arena.
I also understand that Rick Santorum is particularly reprehensible to progressives for his stand on gay marriage. But remember, President Obama is particularly reprehensible to some conservatives for his vote for partial-birth abortions, which Newt characterized in last night’s debate as “infanticide.”
It’s a tough issue, one of the toughest of our times. If you come down strongly on either side of the spectrum you’ll lose readers–although given the site demographics and ideology probably less if you stay the progressive course. The only thing I might suggest is a dedicated GMP Politics page, separate from the humanist cultural dialogues going on on the rest of the site. That way folks can click knowing what they are getting into. But in my opinion, given the overarching ideology of the site, that would soon devolve into a left-wing choir practice infested by hateful trolls.
Hate is not satire, as claimed by some on the Santorum threads. Thanks for listening.
Editor’s Note: What do you guys think? Should The Good Men Project venture into the territory of politics? Leave us a comment and tell us why or why not.