Should You Stir the Pot Just to Get Blog Hits?

(Blogger‘s Note: This post was inspired from several comments on a recent post at this site, particularly a comment from fellow WordPress blogger Rich Brown. Due credit also goes to an inspirational post from Copyblogger.)

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stirring the pot stevenwwatkins

Should you stir the pot, just to get blog hits?

The short answer to this question is no.

The longer answer requires a few more keyboard strokes.

THE BACKGROUND

Two days ago, I wrote an objective, news-type post about a visit Jesse Jackson made to my hometown in Jonesboro, AR. Jackson was here to lead a prayer vigil and peaceful march to bring attention to the circumstances of the death of Chavis Carter, who on July 28, committed suicide by gunshot wound in the back of a police car.

Questions regarding how such circumstances could transpire have permeated the local community and added fuel to a growing racial divide.

I wrote this post about Jackson’s visit, and the post itself became nearly as controversial as the original circumstances that prompted it.

The post generated a number of comments, one of which challenged my right to “spread the mess” of the timely and newsworthy topic. And so I responded to the reader’s comment here.

Via social media, I’d been publicly accused of “spreading a mess,” and encouraged to “hush up.”

EVEN JUSTIN WILSON “STIRS UP” DIRTY RICE

I’ve written a number of posts that some might consider Christian genre. I’ve talked about forgiveness, compassion, etc., etc., but…

There are at least four things I will not tolerate:

1. Don’t mess with my wife.

2. Don’t harm a hair on my children’s head.

3. Don’t even think about limiting anyone’s freedom of expression.

4. Don’t hide behind your racial prejudice.

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MY OPINION

Journalists have been “stirring the pot” since the time Galileo declared the world wasn’t flat.

We live in a great country that happens to be in a horrible mess. Never before have we been so divided along the lines of race, religion, life and opportunity. So much of it is, I believe, because we just don’t talk about it and reach across the lines of our discomfort.

So, back to the message. Is it okay to stir the pot just to get attention? No, not for that reason.

It’s okay to stir the pot when you passionately believe in a cause and wish to exercise your God-given right (moreover, your obligation) to take a stand, fulfill your purpose, and make a difference.

A wise man once told me that life’s not wrapped up in a pretty little package. We should be most concerned, he said, when we rest in the comfort and belief that we have things all figured out.

If you passionately believe in a cause, and genuinely want to make a difference, you’re not stirring any pots. You’re pursuing your destiny.

I HOPE THIS IS YOUR TAKEAWAY

The rights we all share to agree to disagree are a magnificent thing. We should never allow our uncomfortable disagreements to bring us to the point where we stop talking altogether.

If you’re standing and writing for the things in which you passionately believe, you’re not stirring any pots.

And we all benefit from the pursuit your higher calling.

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Mitt Romney’s Mulligan

First, a few disclaimers:

1. If you want to label me, I’m a 46-year-old-white-Christian-southern-moderate Democrat who’s never voted for a Republican. However, if I’d been the age I am now in the 1980s, I’d probably have been a Reagan Democrat.

2. For the most part, I believe the Obama presidency has failed to live up to its expectations. It’s been particularly harmful in a moralistic sort of way.

3. I think Mitt Romney is a good, smart, decent man who has the qualifications to potentially serve well as president, but his campaign is a disaster.

4. In the 48 hours since I decided to post on this topic, Romney’s apparently decided to name Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate. It’s a bad choice that makes his road to the White House all the more difficult. But the Saturday announcement does allow the Romney campaign to dominate tomorrow’s Sunday talk shows, so touche’.

5. I’m pulling for Mitt Romney to turn his campaign around, show who he really is, and there’s a remote chance I may possibly cast my first Republican presidential vote ever. But it’s not looking good so far.

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mul·li·gan/ˈməligən/

Noun:
  1. A stew made from odds and ends of food.
  2. (in informal golf) An extra stroke allowed after a poor shot, not counted on the scorecard.
Romney running mate Paul Ryan

Mitt Romney’s apparent VP.

In my world of professional duffer’s golf, we have this thing called a mulligan.

In certain tournaments, you may purchase x number of mulligans. In a gentleman’s round of golf, players agree to mulligans off the first tee or at certain designated moments along the round. The mulligan is a do-over, a second chance. An opportunity to erase the previous hook or slice.

It’s a chance to start fresh and forget the past.

The mulligan is an applicable metaphor for the Romney campaign.Duffer

Though many will disagree, I contend, the Romney campaign has, to date, failed to show its true potential. So far, foreign policy visits have been disastrous, the tax issue looms as a dark cloud of dubious dealings. He runs needlessly from the issue of his Mormon faith and his record as Massachusetts governor. And his selection of Ryan as running mate gives no diversity whatsoever to the GOP ticket. That in itself, is a hugely missed opportunity, but not unexpected.

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But Mitt Romney is a good man. Even the most left-wing blue-dog Democrat must admit that. His qualifications for the presidency are as good as any Republican candidate in recent years. He’s a successful capitalist who’s been in the trenches, and that may very well be exactly what the country needs as this moment, as opposed to Obama, who many contend has never had a “real” job.

In a few short days, Mitt Romney gets his last mulligan. His acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa is Romney’s final opportunity to let the world know who he is. He desperately needs to bare his soul. After Tampa, there will be no more defining moments.

As a press secretary to U.S. Rep. Marion Berry (D-AR) from 1996-2000, I wrote hundreds of campaign and political speeches. Were I in the same position with Romney today, I’d shape my acceptance speech around the following 10 points, and I’d bare my soul to its innermost core. These points are not the message, but the points around which the message should be shaped.

  • Married to the same woman for 43 years with five great kids.
  • Stuck beside his wife every step of the way when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996.
  • A product of the public school system.
  • Successful enough to make his way through Stanford, Brigham Young and Harvard.
  • Lived in a basement apartment as an undergrad at BYU.
  • Spent more than two years as a Mormon missionary in France.
  • And while there sustained a broken jaw defending a female missionary who was being harassed by a rugby team.
  • Progressive record as governor of Massachusetts.
  • Understands the world of capitalism and pulled off a successful Winter Olympic Games in 2002 at Salt Lake.
  • His father is his mentor and hero.

mulligan

Your down to your last mulligan, Mitt. Rich as you are, you won’t be able to buy another. You need a birdie.

Bare your soul in Tampa.

PS Mitt: Consider making this your convention theme song:

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