seeking reasonable conservatives

a few days ago i unsubscribed myself from yet another conservative weblog. in principle, i believe it's possible for someone with a liberal bias such as myself to have a reasonable discussion with someone with a conservative bias. but in practice, i've found it difficult to find someone with a conservative bias who doesn't equate my liberal bias with terrorism. of course, the same problem exists with overtly liberal weblogs, which too often equate conservatism with fascism.

maybe this makes sense outside of america, but here i just don't get it. whether you are a liberal or conservative american, roughly half of the country is in the opposing camp. i don't understand what sort of views would support the painting of half of all americans as evil. maybe it makes those who agree with the writer feel better about themselves, but isn't it more important to be changing the minds of those who don't agree with the writer? isn't it a safe assumption that the american government will continue to (albeit poorly) represent both liberal and conservative americans, and will thus be required to find some middle ground? is there no longer a middle ground in american politics?

as someone with an admittedly liberal bias, i'd like to offer an example to conservatives of how to change my mind on an issue. doc searls quotes a passage from Iraq: Setbacks, Advances, Prospects (PDF), by Adeed Dawisha:

It is undeniable that insecurity and at times chaos have reigned for a dismayingly long time in some parts of Iraq, particularly in sections of Baghdad (whose sprawling environs contain around a fifth of Iraq's total population of about 25 million people) and in the "Sunni" zone. This area, which is often called the "Sunni triangle," is actually more of a quadrilateral whose corners rest on Baghdad in the south, Saddam's home city of Tikrit in the north, Ramadi in the west, and Baquba in the east. The Arabic-speaking, Sunni Muslim tribes who predominate in this area received ample largess and many privileges from Saddam, and in turn staffed much of his secret-police and military apparatus. It is in this area that the vast majority of U.S. casualties have occurred. Saddam loyalists, who stand to lose the most from the demise of his regime, have perpetrated almost-daily attacks on U.S. convoys and personnel in this zone. Well-equipped and seemingly generously financed by Saddamist remnants who raided Iraq's treasury before fleeing Baghdad, these guerrillas have been waging a low-intensity war that U.S. commanders have been hard-pressed to contain, let alone eliminate.

this passage tells me things i didn't know, and it gives me cause to reconsider some of my beliefs about the situation in iraq. it doesn't turn me into a conservative, but if such a conversion is possible (i've never met a "former liberal" nor a "former conservative"), this is a good place to start it. calling me a terrorist is a bad place to start. i've changed my mind on too many issues too many times to believe i'm currently right about everything i believe, and this is why i seek out people with differing opinions to challenge my own. do you know of any overtly conservative weblogs that don't equate liberals with terrorists? if so, please share, because i haven't had much luck so far in my search.

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