Steinglass compares politicians and bloggers:

[F]or Elena Kagan, as for many people operating in government, the way to make sure nobody pigeonholes you as part of one ideological camp or political clique, or dismisses you as somebody's lackey, is to be relentlessly technical and positive. If you're down in the wonky weeds on every issue, and always congratulating everyone for sincerely addressing an important problem that everybody needs to work on, you're fine. For bloggers, on the other hand, the way to make sure nobody pigeonholes you or dismisses you as somebody's lackey is to be relentlessly cynical and negative. As long as you're constantly bemoaning the hypocrisy and stupidity of all political actors (yourself included), you're golden; you're nobody's lickspittle.

This is itself too cynical for me. It is also possible for a blogger and (to a lesser extent) a politician to have a complicated view of the world and be honest about it. Not to be popular, not to be golden, not to prove you're "nobody's lickspittle" - but because it's what you honestly think and believe.

That is seriously what I try to do here, and longtime readers can judge for themselves how successful I have been. I am simply trying to understand the world as I see it - and my own experience is obviously the filter. I'm hard to pigeonhole not out of any strategy but because I am who I am, and my life has pushed me into all sorts of apparent contradictions and conflicts ... which are less of a contradiction or conflict when you can see the totality of someone's life and thoughts. By opening up about this, I hope the Dish fosters more complicated thinking and fewer pigeonholes.

Because almost all of us are complex and contradictory in this modern world, and all of us deserve an equal chance to be heard.

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