It seems that the level of discussion surrounding the policy decisions facing our nation and our state have degenerated into more political rhetoric and partisan bickering than sincere efforts to come to a consensus that is best for the people. Even basic necessities of such a discussion, such as facts, have given way to the desire to win the issue. The issues facing our country as a whole, and our state in particular, are getting more and more complex as our discourse gets more and more polarizing and simplistic. The purpose of this blog is not to feed the negative aspects of the political debate, but to offer a forum that indulges the positive aspects of a policy discussion.
With technology, we have the opportunity to share ideas and discuss issues more than we ever have before. Unfortunately, many people use blogs as a way to throw punches at the people they perceive to be their opponent. We have become too much of an us versus them community and the anonymity of the internet allows even polite and respectful people to say things that they would never say in person. This blog will be different. After all, this is an Oklahoma blog and Oklahomans are known for their polite and respectful ways.
With this blog, we have the opportunity to communicate more frequently and informally. We can point out policy issues about which we will not have an opportunity to produce a full brief. We can inform you about things happening at the capitol on a real-time basis. More importantly, we can have a more inclusive discussion of some of the policy issues facing Oklahoma.
I ask that everyone treat the OK Policy blog more like a front porch conversation than like a heated debate. Be respectful of other people’s points of view, even when you are explaining why you disagree with them. This is a discussion of issues with the intent of making Oklahoma better for all of us. It is not a forum to doggedly put forth a partisan agenda or to verbally spar with each other. The first step to coming to agreement is to have a free exchange of ideas in a respectful way.
With that in mind, we will not post any responses that belittle other people or their views. We can disagree with each other without being inflammatory. Obviously obscene language will also not be tolerated. This is an exchange of ideas. It is not about who wins and loses. If we can’t have productive conversations about Oklahoma’s policy options, we all lose.