Mac Musings

Politics and the Mac Web

Daniel Knight - 2000.03.01

I'd like to thank everyone who takes the time to write in response to my musings. I don't answer all the email, but I do read it. And I pay special attention to those who disagree with me. Sometimes they help me think different.

Macs and Politics

I've written on a lot of topics over the years: the Macintosh, Apple computer, internet taxes, filtering spam, censorship, Funcoland, Columbine and geeks, and a recent study that said Internet users were less than social, among other topics. Overall, the response has generally been polite and well reasoned.

Then I wrote an article explaining How McCain Won Michigan. Again, I got both positive and negative feedback, but also something different - people not only objecting to the intrusion of politics into a Mac site, but telling me they will no longer visit Low End Mac because of my support for John McCain.

I thought I had been very careful in writing the article not to state that McCain is the best candidate, not to solicit votes for him, not to hold him up as a role model. The closest I came to advocating McCain was saying I liked his views, calling him the most electable candidate, and including a link to his site.

I guess people see what they want to see. That column was about the political process more than about candidates. It explained my view that the candidate closest to the center of the political spectrum is the most electable. It looked at the political climate in Michigan, where an open primary gives independents the opportunity to vote - and even gives disaffected Democrats the chance to vote in the Republican primary.

By analyzing data from ABC News exit polls, I pointed out that while the Republican voters overwhelmingly supported Bush, support for McCain was every bit as strong among independents - and stronger among Democrats. From this I concluded McCain has broader support than Bush, making him a stronger candidate should the Republicans nominate him.

You'd think I'd embraced his every political view and every facet of his personality and then nominated him for sainthood - based on the vehement response of a few readers

I Don't Get It

I appreciate the readers who wrote to tell me they wouldn't visit Low End Mac again because of my political views. I disagree with their position as shortsighted, but they have the freedom to make that choice.

I visit sites every day run by those I disagree with. I don't stop visiting an otherwise worthwhile site because the webmaster may a libertarian, a socialist, a bigot, or support a candidate I don't like. I don't understand why others would, unless that bias permeated everything on the site. And that certainly has never been the case at Low End Mac.

I guess thinking different goes to the core for some of us. For me, that means I can learn from those I disagree with, not put up blinders and presume that because they are "wrong" in one area, they must be wrong everywhere.

I'm a Mac user. I think Macs are great. But that doesn't mean I can't benefit from the opinions of Windows or Linux zealots.

I'm a straight white male, but that doesn't mean women and gays and people of color say nothing worth hearing.

And in a lot of cases, I don't even know the views of writers and webmasters. What if this one listens to Rush Limbaugh? What if that one quotes Karl Marx?

Should I discount the opinions of any human being because I don't share all their views? It's not going to happen here; Low End Mac will continue to embrace diverse opinions.

But it's easier for some to put on blinders instead of exposing themselves to those who think different and share their views. Avoiding diversity is the core of a one-party system.

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Dan Knight has been using Macs since 1986, sold Macs for several years, supported them for many more years, and has been publishing Low End Mac since April 1997. If you find Dan's articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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