Yesterday, after the rally in Van Nuys, a reader and I went out to dinner to discuss the events of the day, relationships and family and blogging. She, who seems to follow the comments threads more regularly than I, wondered about the fervor of a particular critic.
In response, I echoed a question I have posed from time to time in the threads, wondering why some who revel in criticizing us, often accusing us of being self-hating and otherwise narrow-minded, spend so much time on this blog. If our words so offend their sensibilities, why do they return to read them on a regular basis? Do they delight in being offended? (Although sometimes it seems they don’t read so much as skim, seizing on a point which particularly excites them.)
Like many right-of-center bloggers, I used to read Andrew Sullivan every day. He was once my first stop in the blogosphere. Yet, as he started to resemble the angry left, I ratcheted down my reading until I only read his blog when another blogger (usually on the right, but sometimes in the middle) linked him.
I found that other conservative bloggers reacted similarly. When they found his rhetoric offensive, they decided they would rather not be offended.
Now, I welcome criticism; some of our critics, notably the fellow who calls himself Scottland, offer some pretty sound rebuttals to our arguments, often (but not always) without rancor. I’m glad they liven up the debate in the threads which sometimes seems a discussion entirely independent of Bruce or myself–or anything either of us has said.
As I write this, something comes to mind, a memory of a conversation I had in DC with a friend who then worked for Log Cabin’s national office. He told me how a certain “ex-gay” leader used to regularly contact him when he was in the nation’s capital. That leader, even after renouncing his gay identity, apparently frequented gatherings of gay groups.
My friend was convinced this guy had the hots for him (after all, he was an attractive fellow).
If we use that anecdote as analogy, that would make these critics closet conservatives. And maybe they are. I don’t know. I just throw it out there in this speculative post which I guess serves more to invite discussion than offer any conclusion.
It’s just that I wonder why those who are ever ready to make assumptions about us, criticize us, sometimes in the most mean-spirited of language, spend so much time on our blog.