Left or right, we're all experts at pulling our punches. And when paper tigers, and/or the "establishment," or the "other side" is attacked it's almost always in a way that will please one's readers.
Is this desire to be stroked a bad thing? Yes, it's debilitating.
Why? Because our country is in a mess, morally, financially, politically, and our standing in the world is near zero. We have a new president who gives me (and a lot of others here and around the world) hope. But hope isn't enough. President-elect Obama can't do it all alone.
What is not said is louder than what is said in forums such as this. And what is not said is sometimes the things that might spark a debate from which we might find lasting solutions to our terrible problems -- from foreign policy to domestic issues.
So here is a (very partial) list of what you never, or almost never, hear from the right or left on their own sites, the exact places you'd be reading these things if Americans really wanted a debate rather than just more stroking.
Some of The Things You Won't Read On Right Wing Web Sites:
That, all the talk of patriotism is nothing more than a mask for ugly nationalism, and imperial overreach.
That, for all the talk of honoring military service the conservative deciders' and influencers' own children almost never volunteer.
That, most born-again Christians are actually secret agnostics or atheists -- trust me they don't really believe that there is no such thing as evolution, or in the Rapture -- but maintain their religious commitment because of social pressure and wanting to have good standing in their petty little communities, and or to profit off those beliefs in the billion-dollar God business.
That, for all the talk of morality, right wing evangelicals get divorced, commit adultery, have gay sex (when born so inclined) and have abortions like everyone else and would privately be horrified if the right to do those things was actually taken away, for all their Church Lady noisy sanctimonious public posturing.
That, for all our talk about having the "greatest military on earth," the last war we won was World War Two, and since then it's been a series of stalemates, and humiliating losses, of which Afghanistan is shaping up to be the latest.
That, we are the most selfish and murderous tribe on earth, consuming 25 % of the earth's resources with 3 % of the earth's population, and that if we took the Bible (that conservatives are said to revere) seriously we would have to admit that Obama's minister was speaking for God when he said; "God damn America!"