Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lefty's Last Cry 2.0

"If men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences that can invite the consideration of mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

George Washington

One of the most fundamental and valuable aspects in a democratic system of government is the freedom of speech and expression. The incorporation of this idea into the Law of the Land, the American Constitution, has time and again preserved and strengthened the ongoing experiment of American government. The American people have used this freedom to hold their government accountable and to enrich their own lives and the lives of others. We as a nation have staved off the dire consequences which Washington warned us might occur should we rest content and allow this right to slip away.

Lefty’s Last Cry was founded in 2008 by Henry Vasquez for the purposes of creating an online, public forum where progressive members of the Notre Dame community could exercise their constitutionally granted right to free speech and free self-expression. Accordingly, Lefty’s has given many students the opportunity to voice their opinions on important political topics, make heartfelt appeals for civility in government, and turn to humor in responding to the truly ignorant and absurd. Unfortunately, for the past year and several months Lefty’s has abdicated our obligations to this mission and fallen into a sort of suspended animation. It is time for Lefty’s to awaken, shake off the dust, and reassert itself as a locus for the passion and eloquence of Notre Dame’s progressive community. We must not be the silent sheep led to slaughter.

As our own Tyler Bowen wrote in a recent Observer Viewpoint, Notre Dame desperately lacks a forum for rational debate on the present issues of American politics in which all viewpoints are welcome. Though not affiliated with any political party, we at Lefty’s are amply aware that our site is situated on one side of the ideological spectrum; yet, Lefty's represents precisely the viewpoint that needs to be better expressed on Notre Dame's campus. We intend to play a pivotal role in averting a future for Notre Dame in which “liberal retorts remain weak.” We will provide an environment in which progressive-minded students can develop strong, confident, compelling voices, which they can then bring to meet the many conservative voices in vigorous debate before the whole university community and beyond. Lefty’s has always had this role, but in the past year and a half we have failed the progressive community on campus and elsewhere. Lefty’s 2.0 is the expression of our renewed commitment to fulfilling our obligation to the national progressive community.

Now we face the question of how Lefty’s 2.0 will take up this mantle and rise from the ashes of the first incarnation of Lefty’s. 

The first step has been to update, restructure, and reinvigorate the website itself. We have refreshed the look of the site by resetting the layout and choosing a new, aesthetically pleasing color scheme.We have also eliminated stagnant pages, updated our core pages, and added new pages with fresh, dynamic content. This includes the return of polls, a Lefty's forum, and a weekly calendar of Notre Dame campus events endorsed by the Lefty's staff.

The second step was to bring in a new crop of writers. These writers are all passionate and eager to enter the world of political blogging. They collectively bring a variety of experiences and views that will hopefully spark lively discussion on Lefty’s. We are excited about the potential of this group to provide our readers with a wealth of information and unique insights concerning the prominent topics of the day.

The final step, of course, was to promote and prepare for this reboot of Lefty’s. If you’re here because you heard about Lefty’s 2.0 then it must have worked. If not, thanks for checking the site and please keep coming back. Either way, spread the word. What we’re trying to do here will only succeed if there’s a community effort.

We are here making a promise to put 110% into making Lefty’s 2.0 everything that Lefty’s was at its peak and more.  Yet, without you, the task before us is impossible. So we simply ask that in return for our renewed commitment to bringing you engaging commentary on the events of American politics, you return to our site and give us the chance to show you what all this Lefty’s 2.0 business is about.

1 comment:

Bill said...

I'm glad to see you guys back in action. I'll be sure to check every day for new updates. And if you need anything, feel free to contact me. I still use the same email I had when I was writing here. Also, the former staff section could probably use an update. Henry, Brendan, and I are all doing different things than we were in 2010.