RE the Radical Left Meetup Facebook page

I am excited by the enthusiastic participation in the new Radical Left Meetup FB page. It fills a dire need, for sure!

As a long-time creator and moderator of liberal, progressive, and other left-wing spectrum listservs and fora,  I wish to share my hard-won knowledge.

First, in a group like this, there will be people at different points in their political growth and understanding. It is critical that we keep in mind that those of us who still harbor the belief that we can make a difference by participating in conventional political action not be crushed by those of us who believe that this kind of action is futile, and vice versa.

I myself am among those who now see the Democratic and Republican parties in the USA as merely two instrumentalities used to narrow debate. But I did not always feel that way. Some of us will come to that view over time, others will not.

Please let us avoid heaping contempt on those whose views or methods differ from ours. We can all learn from one another. Indeed, that is the main reason to participate.

We should also avoid debates about narrow doctrinal differences among different political tendencies. We all have the same dreams and goals, and each one will teach one. We have all changed hearts and minds in our journey.

Second, it is critical that we do not allow rightwingers to enter and twist the debates and discussions we have. Some people feel that all opinions and viewpoints are equally valid. This is emphatically not true. Opinions not backed by facts and analysis are downright dangerous to humanity, and to our little group. Trolls will appear. They must be shut down immediately or we will pay the price in dropoff of membership and fruitful discussion.

Similarly, we are not bound here on Facebook, or in any private or public discussion, by the First Amendment. The First Amendment restricts the GOVERNMENT from limiting political speech. We here at the RLM page are not bound by that body of law and have no need to feel guilty about limiting the activities of disruptive persons.


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