This website grew from years of conversations among friends – enjoyable, engaging, passionate conversations about the problems, issues, failures and successes of our society. We have each donated thousands of cell minutes and hundreds of evenings to the discussion of the major and minor issues of our day. From Health Care and the National Debt to a College Football Playoff and the brilliance of Arrested Development – we have done what thousands of other friend groups do every day – we have shared our thoughts and opinions about the world in which we live. To be sure, these discussions don’t make us particularly special, but we believe that it is the utter commonness of our conversations that make us especially qualified to create this website – we are friends, we are citizens, and we care that meaningful and meaningless conversations about our world happen among us.
We invite you to join our conversations and then take them to your group of friends. And we hope that through this process, civility and reason will replace cruelty and rhetoric as the descriptors of our national discourse. Many times our conversations ended with frustration at the tenor of the national political debate, with a sense of desperation at seeing both parties valuing winning the next election over solving the serious problems that we face, and indignation at those who operate under the dictum that “the end always justifies the means.” But whatever discouragement we felt, we never stopped the discussion. We always called each other again, armed with the optimism of a new idea, or a new example of bipartisanship, or, often times, a new exasperation at another example of the win-at-all-costs mentality that pervades our current political climate. While we have often disagreed about a particular solution to a particular problem, we discovered, through these thousands of hours of conversations over the last 15 years, a whole-hearted agreement about a few bedrock principles that we each believe should never be compromised in shaping our conversations. These principles will shape the content of our website and we hope, shape your conversations as well:
- In politics, as in life, the end never justifies the means.
- If a person is unable to praise the other side for something good that they accomplished, then the validity of his opinion is diminished. It is a clear indication that he values his political party over our nation.
- It is never acceptable to demonize the other side to gain a political advantage.
- We believe that it is not acceptable to call people names or to label them with emotionally charged, ill-fitting buzzwords. No Communist, Socialist or Nazi name calling here.
- “They did it first” is never an acceptable political justification for personal attacks, lies, mudslinging, gridlock, or general mean-spiritedness. If you wouldn’t accept that excuse from your child, you shouldn’t accept it from your political party.
- We dislike straw men, red herrings, and ad hominem attacks.
- We don’t presume malicious intent even when we disagree with a politician.
- No person or party is right 100% of the time or wrong 100% of the time.
- Achieving our shared destiny as a nation requires healthy public discourse.
- We prefer rational arguments and thoughtful analysis over slogans, gut-feelings, and conjecture.
If you find the conversation on Media Rostra compelling, join us by commenting via our Facebook page or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. But perhaps more importantly, take the conversation back to your group of friends, be civil in your discussions, and never stop discussing the major and minor issues that we face as a nation. We honestly believe that the rational, informed conversation of our citizenry offers the best hope for moving our nation forward, together.
– David Davies, Editor-in-Chief, and the Editorial Team of Media Rostra