Our freedoms are slowly being taken from us. Don’t believe it? Just take a look at what is happening within a major political party of this country.
In April of 2008, I joined a blog called Democrat Party Builder (http://www.democrats.org/page/community/members). In the heat of the primary, passion was running high for most bloggers, no matter who their candidate of choice was. Mine was Obama. It took some time, but I eventually made friends with many, if not most of the most passionate of these bloggers, even those who supported Clinton.
Around the time of the last primary, a member of the Party Builder (hereafter known as PB), invited several Obama supporters from Barack Obama’s campaign blog site, to join the PB blog in an effect to drown out the unhappiness of Clinton supporters. Instead of working with the “dissenters”, or those who refused to fall in line with the Democratic nominee, these bloggers repeatedly insulted and goaded them. Even going as far as throwing around homophobic slurs and harassing specific bloggers.
As a supporter of Senator Obama, I was disgusted by the behavior of those other “supporters”, who I believe are an embarrassment to him, and I am ashamed to ever be lumped into their “group”.
Complaints were ignored.
Until August came along a new moderator came onto the blog.
Then something strange happened. Suddenly, Clinton supporters were silenced. My latest count is eight, but since I don’t have a way to contact many of those people outside of the PB site, I can’t confirm more. I was furious. People I had made friends with, good and decent Democrats and AMERICANS were banned from participating in the blog. All their past blog entries and comments were deleted. None of them received any warning or notification so that they could make copies of their work. It was just destroyed in the span of a few minutes.
I knew who was responsible for Clinton supporters being silenced. She came to the blog with the purpose of silencing dissenters. When she couldn’t do it herself, she bragged that she had connections within the DNC and would get the public blog straightened out. So in my anger, I stuck out at this person. I told her to “shove it”.
How dare I use such foul language! Within minutes, my account at the site was condemned. Hours of work that I had put in towards getting Barack Obama elected, were deleted. My account was banned. I was silenced.
Unless it has happened to you, you can’t know how it feels. This is a political party that prides itself on inclusiveness, acceptance, and tolerance. Well, as I have seen, there is only tolerance if you have only positive things to say about the Party nominee and his supporters.
I was devastated to have been silenced. So I rejoined with a new name to post about my unhappiness and let my blog companions know how they could reach me. It was tolerated- until I posted a poll that showed Obama sliding in the polls. Within moments, the new account was banned.
It is ironic that just this week, the Executive Director of the DNC would send out an email inviting one of the banned members to join the PB. In the email, it states, that the site can be used to “empower Democrats”, and that you should “Speak Out”. Yet, when you do, if the moderator doesn’t like what you have to say, your account gets removed.
What a disappointment. I joined the Democratic Party officially just this spring. Previously, I had never voted for a Democrat for president. I had never donated money to a presidential campaign. I had never made phone calls and canvassed for a political campaign. Those things all changed for me, because I believed in Barack Obama. I became a Democrat because, like many other Republicans, I felt that Party left ME.
It’s funny… I watched the news on Monday afternoon, the day my blog was deleted, and I saw Chinese protesters being carried away by police in Beijing, and I felt like that was me. Not carried away in handcuffs, but silenced just the same. I feel betrayed.
In the past few days, I’ve gone through a myriad of emotions. Anger, grief, disappointment, disgust… but more than anything else, sadness. In this great nation of ours, it’s a travesty that anyone’s voice would be silenced for disagreement. The saddest part about it, is those that are responsible for it, think that there is nothing wrong with what happened. Well, I don’t live in the United States of Communism, where you’re not allowed to voice your opinion, and it’s not all right with me for this to be happening here.
Sadly, these actions are a reflection on the campaign of Senator Barack Obama, and I find that if Democrats are not allowed to voice their opposition on a Democrat Party website, I just can’t support the Democratic Party or any of it’s nominees. I just didn’t think silencing the opposition was part of the Democratic playbook, and that’s something I don’t believe in.
I had so much hope coming into this election in November. Now that hope has disappeared. I’m more afraid then ever of what this country is coming to.