Thoughtcrime on the internets

Scott Piepho has a post up on the Megan Pappada Women’s Outreach ODP thing. Here’s a bit:

…there has been lamentably gleeful comment from the Right. Columbuser and RAB at minimum have chimed in.

Gleeful? I thought I was being quite restrained. That kind of thing is in the eye of the beholder though, so anyway:

The prevailing sentiment there is “thoughtcrime.”

Well, duh. Political parties are about ideas. Another word for “ideas” would be “thoughts.” If you don’t share those ideas, you can’t represent the party. Either party. I’m sure there are essays and topics out there that would scotch a would-be Republican staffer.

But everyone seems to acknowledge that she no longer holds those ideas- those ideas being opposition to racial discrimination and racial segregation- but that’s another post. Granted though, her phrasing was inelegant at best.

The essence of the matter isn’t that she disagreed with the party at one time. If her Lantern post had been in favor of dropping the capital gains tax, she would not have been fired or asked to resign.

It’s that expressing those particular ideas is like a crime among Democrats, and changing one’s mind and saying so isn’t good enough- or so this case would suggest. There must be punishment or banishment. That’s why I call it thoughtcrime as opposed to a disagreement with the ODP.

Scott does bring up another important issue: “what is the shelf life for this poison pill”. We’re riding the very first wave of this all access all the time to everything you’ve ever posted paradigm, and a lot of young people are getting hurt by it. It will take time, but we’re going to have to get past this- and we will.

UPDATE: Have Coffee Will Write has a good take.

One comment on “Thoughtcrime on the internets”

  1. Posted by OJJPAC | Aug 30, 2007 6:55 am

    As a life-long Democrat who has run campaigns, protested the KKK (in Georgia, not at a safe college campus), served as a ward leader, served under House Speaker Vern Riffe, worked closely with ODP staffers before, etc., etc. …I’m sadened by the direction the Democratic Party is headed. Truth-be-told, it’s running mainstream Democrats away from the Party.

    The Party I remember (before Megan was born) actually let people have opinions–even those that may have varied from the Party. It appears that some in the ODP favor a Chinese Cultural Revolution style method of operating now. The Party that brays “tolerance” is intolerant.

    I had more respect for the 18-year-old Megan’s view than her letter of contrition which seemed like mindlessly PC talking points and cliches.

    Let’s see what Magan writes after she has the life experience of a 35-year-old or 45-year-old. I think she will have an even more “mature” view then–at least I hop so.

    PS: Gee…after writing this I guess I can kiss that $9.00/hr. ODP staffer job good-bye!

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