Where my "The Trolls Have a Strategy, What's Ours?" piece appeared on Huffington Post, a reader wrote:
This post just adds fuel to the fire of a shameful, hateful cycle of Us vs. Them. Don't focus on belittling people who don't agree with your views; seek common ground and understanding. Liberals cannot claim to be compassionate if they can't find compassion for their detractors. Be the change!
And here's how I replied:
The first entry in my series had the title, "#1 Many Liberals Don't Like the Idea of Battle, But the Alternative in America Today is Much Worse." You, [reader's name], are an illustration.
Yes, it would be nice to be able to have a decent world while always being "nice," but not every situation allows for that choice. Unfortunately, history sometimes gives people "the undesirable choice ... either to fall under the domination of aggressors, or to match their power in order to defend what is held dear."
Seeking common ground is a good thing, and I've already told the story of my background in doing just that throughout the 80s and 90s. (See that history in the second part of this second entry.)
But when you've got a political force that is expressing itself by having its instruments (the Republicans in Congress) vote even against their OWN ideas -- health care reform, Cap and trade, etc. -- to make the other side fail and lose power to them, then you know that this is not and cannot be about "finding common ground."