In our discussion yesterday about the proper treatment of "the little people," several commenters made the point -- repeatedly -- that people like S. Joseph Wurzelbacher and Carrie Prejean essentially forfeited any right to privacy by entering the public discourse. That once they made their political beliefs known, any and all details of their past was suddenly fit for public consumption so their lives could be scrutinized for the slightest sign of hypocrisy, moral failings, self-contradiction, or anything else that might discredit them and properly chastise them from daring to offer opinions -- especially opinions that might conflict with those of their betters.
And, never openly admitted by quite clear just below the surface, to serve as a warning for anyone else who might want to offer an opinion.
At first, I was resistant to that argument. But as the comments continued, I found it harder and harder to refute my detractors. Their thesis -- that those who choose to enter the public discourse have no right to claim any sort of privacy or secrecy -- gradually won me over.
Thank you, "steve green," jim x," "bryanD," "Tina S," and so on. I hereby rescind my prior position, and fully adopt your belief on this matter as correct.
Words, however, simply will not suffice on a matter of this magnitude. Only deeds will properly demonstrate my conversion.
So, in that spirit, below the fold I am listing the IPs each of you used in posting to Wizbang, the e-mail addresses you entered, and every other bit of personally identifying information I have managed to glean about each and every one of you four worthies. After all, you each freely chose to enter the public discourse here at Wizbang, you repeatedly declared that participants have no expectation of privacy, and any who offer opinions must be properly scrutinized and examined and studied for signs of hidden agendas, hypocrisy, past offenses, character flaws, and whatnot. I can only hope that the ever-resourceful Wizbang readership will be ready, willing, and able to continue the investigation into just who -- and what -- you are.
Oh, get real.
No, I'm not going to do that. I admit that I was tempted, but I don't do that sort of thing.
In my ideal world, people's arguments are judged purely on their own merits. I reject the idea that an argument's validity is based on who is making it. That smacks of "shooting the messenger," and I find that contemptible. Even the most obnoxious idiot can occasionally have a right idea, and the best debaters can sometimes be complete idiots. To attempt to refute an argument by "shooting the messenger" is the lazy and despicable approach.
No, I'm not perfect. In the comments thread to my earlier piece, I said some very vile things about Perez Hilton. I don't regret those, as he is a very vile human being and I spelled out just what I think is vile about him.
I also gave my stock answer to someone who tosses around the "teabagger" term as an insult -- "you'll have to speak up; I couldn't hear you with that scrotum in your mouth." For some reason, they don't like it when you take their juvenile giggle-fit and make it literal.
So no, "steve green," "jim x," "bryanD," and "Tina S" and the rest don't have to worry about having their privacy violated for the simple offense of disagreeing with me. That sort of conduct is part and parcel of their twisted form of ethics -- and I don't play that way.
Please, though, continue to demonstrate your persistent assholery. You do almost as good a job as discrediting yourselves and your positions as I do.