A Different Kind of Reconciliation

One of the more difficult aspects of blogging for me has been the maintenance of Online relationships.  I’ve never had much patience in dealing with problematic scenarios and my tendency has always been to find a way to distance myself from certain individuals as quickly as possible.  This usually involves ceasing any and all contact both on the blog and via email.  We have the potential to get so emotionally worked up and words on a screen seem like an inadequate way of addressing it so why bother.  In all honesty, in five years I haven’t gotten much better at it.

Long time readers are no strangers to occasional spats that I’ve had with fellow blogger, Michael Aubrecht.  At times it went way beyond what was appropriate and a few times it became very personal.  These are not interactions that I am not proud of, but I would like to think that I learned important lessons as a result.  I haven’t thought about it in quite some time, but today Michael left the following comment on Brooks Simpson’s recent post about me.

It’s no secret that Kevin and I have had our share of differences over the years, and at times, they have been of a personal and vitriol nature. Both of us are guilty in this regard and I myself have fanned the flames on more than one occasion. Frankly, there are still many issues that we do not agree upon, although I believe that there are many others that we do. Regardless of our past, I vehemently agree that Kevin’s blog has made a big impact on the CW blogosphere while bringing many important issues to light, such as the Black Confederate myth. I myself have posted on this subject with the same frustration that Kevin has. In my declining health, I find myself needing less conflict in both my professional and personal life, especially conflict that serves no greater purpose. Perhaps even Kevin Levin and I can come to terms and express a mutual respect for one another. That would show everyone on all sides of the argument that the blogosphere is not only a place where historical opinions and truths can be shared with the masses, but also a domain where stubborn historians can find a way to work toward a common goal. That goal of course is the proper preservation and presentation of our Nation’s precious history. As we begin to acknowledge the Civil War’s Sesquicentennial, we must celebrate the reunification of our country. If our forefathers could find a way to come together after four years of horrific fighting, why the hell can’t we find a way to get along too…eh Kevin?

I think Michael is right.  It’s time to move on and put the past behind us.  More importantly, I want to wish Michael a speedy recovery.  I’ve known for a few weeks that Michael’s health was in decline.  This is an opportunity to break through the silliness to what matters.

Get well soon, Michael.

5 comments… add one

  • Brooks D. Simpson Feb 15, 2011

    I think this is a wonderful gesture on the part of both of you. I decided not to say anything about it on my blog so that you could respond to Michael’s thoughtful and heartfelt post. At a time when some people are most intent on bashing each other, this strikes a tone of welcome sanity and proportion.

  • Michael Aubrecht Feb 15, 2011

    Kevin, I meant every word and I thank you for your thoughtful response. The “Great Divide” should be left to the history books. I hope to share more when I’m up to it.

    • Margaret D. Blough Feb 15, 2011

      Michael-I hope you get well soon. I’d also like to express my admiration and respect for you reaching out at such a difficult time, for Kevin for returning your overture in the same spirit as it was extended, and for both of you reminding us that debate can be serious, hard-hitting and scholarly without it getting personal and nasty.

      • Ken Noe Feb 16, 2011

        Prayers for a swift and speedy recovery, Michael. That was an admirable thing you both did.

  • Eric Wittenberg Feb 15, 2011

    Good for both of you, Kevin and Michael. The truth is that life is too short as it is, and I’m glad to see that the two of you have buried the hatchet. I’m in regular contact with Michael and occasional contact with Kevin, and I have long hoped that you two would find a way to resolve your differences.

    Earlier today, Michael asked me if I thought he should reach out to you, and I told him that I couldn’t see how any harm could come of it. I’m glad I was not only right about that, but that something good has indeed come of it. You both get credit for being able to put the unpleasantness behind.

    Get well soon, Michael. And Kevin, please keep up the good work.

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