The Radikal’s Flair for Drama
I don’t normally try to compete for readers with TheRadikal.com when he’s covering a certain SG event, unless I feel the need to provide a place for my own commentary on it. But when Christian Duque decided to throw a temper-tantrum and shut off my comment priveleges on his site, I figured it was time to step in and talk about the ongoing family feud between the two independent parties: Progress and Orange & Blue.
It is my contention that the parties need to move past the ugliness of this last election and begin to unite on the common ground that makes them “independent”. I also felt that any alumni or graduating student who is contributing to the ongoing conflict rather than helping to resolve it really should just back off and let those who actually need to do the work of uniting in the Fall do it themselves.
Because I endorsed O&B, and Duque endorsed Progress, he assumes any message I have post-election about the independents necessarily serves O&B’s interest. He forgets that I’ve acknowledged the Progress Party victory, O&B’s shellacking outside of a solid 2nd in Engineering, and Progress’s rightful place as at least equal if not senior partners in any future endeavor, assuming the party outlasts their leader’s graduation.
I am especially concerned that this in-fighting among independents is based solely on events that transpired in December, and is mostly inspired by Duque and some less than diplomatic comments from a handful of folks on either side of the debate.
I pointed out that I am hardly an exclusive blogger of UF Student Government, but that shouldn’t discount my message. Nor should Duque allow himself to pull away from his continued commentary/reporting on SG events just to fan the flames of a dispute that itself cannot be resolved except with the passage of time and the cooling of emotions. But I even said I don’t mind if he disagrees with that suggestion.
He attacked me as a “seasonal” blogger – as if I need to read the Alligator and interview SG insiders every week to have relevant suggestions about electoral strategy. He also seemed harshly offended that I considered Justin Wooten’s role in keeping tensions alive to be counterproductive. I don’t know if he raced to Wooten’s defense out of feeling a kindred spirit with another left-wing activist, saw a similar passion for SG in Wooten, or just plain likes the guys a little too much. But I don’t care. Wooten is not my primary concern any more than a firefighter is concerned about finding the arsonist while Rome is still burning.
And then, ironically for a man who trumpeted the “Don’t Tase Me, Bro” scandal for its violations of free speech, Duque insisted on ending my posting priveleges for claimed but unspecified attacks I supposedly made regarding his precious blog.
It’s clear to me now that Duque wants the drama to keep going only because Wooten does. I don’t know why either of them would rather keep Progress and O&B fighting with each other over the next few months instead of cooperating, but I do know that Duque’s behavior in the last few days regarding this dispute are highly out of character for him and totally out of line.
He can do what he wants with his blog, but if he goes down this road, he will only turn TheRadikal into TheDramaQueen or some form of collegiate tabloid.
Regardless of his political views, he’s a better blogger than that. And I hope he realizes that before it’s too late.