Why not jump on over to Purple State of Mind and read this post there? They are especially hospitable to differing perspectives, so you should pull up a chair and visit a while…
I’m liberal politically.
And I believe that Conservapedia, a right-wing answer to the supposedly biased lefty Wikipedia, is right up there with war, pestilence and – oh heck in for an inch, in for a mile – locusts and plague, as a scourge of modern humanity.
And I’m only slightly overstating my dislike for the flourish.
But I’d argue that my problem with Conservapedia has nothing to do with my tendency to lean left. Even more than I believe in progressive ideas, I believe in the American marketplace of ideas where the best ideas rise from the flying fracas of ideas that sometimes leaves us ducking. We make each other better by bringing our best arguments from each side of the aisle to the table and having it out. Occasional bloody noses and all.
I dislike Conservapedia so deeply because for something supposedly established to fight bias, they sure trade in truckloads of it.
I spent about 2 hours tonight trying to sink my teeth into the site. I found way too many pages that had been locked for edits (characterizing people who might edit as “vandals”), thin sourcing, articles written by only a handful of editors when editing was even allowed, and a heavy reliance on Fox News, Limbaugh, Beck and The American Spectator. It is rife with biased language, like referring to former Vice President Dick Cheney as “American Patriot Dick Cheney” and adding into a news piece on the Episcopal Church a reference to homosexuality as “perverted relationships.” And I haven’t even gotten to the what I find to be a thoroughly despicable article on Barack Obama (it begins “Barack Hussein Obama AKA Barry Soetoro (allegedly  born in Honolulu Aug. 4, 1961)”).
Wikipedia is nothing like Conservapedia. Sure, you can cherry-pick problems that any large effort has, but as a whole, they’re shooting for ascertainable, verifiable fact.**
I’d like to suggest that if their goal is to increase their “side” by even one (1) voter, Conservapedia might want to re-strategize. (If their goal is to bathe in a warm fuzzy bubble bath of righteous indignation damn the facts or the consequences – which admittedly seems to of late been the goal on both sides of the partisan divide – they’re cooking with grease.)
With friends like Conservapedia, I think conservatives don’t need enemies. In fact, I think liberal-ole-me is a better advocate for conservatism than they are: I want to hear conservative America’s best head-firmly-out-of-the-sand arguments, not the product of a deluded echo chamber.
Now that you have the backstory, here’s the other shoe dropping: I caught the founder of Wikipedia on The Colbert Report this week. And I liked him. He was like one of my favorite neighbors, or even my Grandpa (and Grandpas are very hard to hate). Maybe more importantly, I am certain that he is quite sincere is his effort to fight liberal bias (unfortunately, I believe, all the way to conservative bias).
You can’t be any more honest with other people than you are with yourself. Repeat: You can’t be any more honest with other people than you are with yourself.
When we lie to ourselves we lie to others, but we really don’t know we’re lying. And that should matter. And we all do it at one time or another, and that should matter too.
From now on, I’m calling quits on insinuating that I know someone has lied. I don’t and even if I did, that’s for – uh – Someone Else to sort out. I’m just going to go with calling them factually wrong.
Maybe then we can start a real conversation. I believe that conservatives – lose the Conservapedia more often than not – have a solid argument to make.
Bring it on. Our country will be the better for it.
**Subjective argument, to be sure, has its place even if it isn’t encyclopedias. Note The Village Square on concepts of mythos and logos both having different but important places in wisdom HERE.