You may well have guessed this was the case: After 12+ years, our co-founder, co-editor, and great friend David Kravitz has moved on from the blog.
Here is his statement:
If you had told me back in 2004, when we started Blue Mass Group, that it would still be a vibrant online community in 2017, with nearly 20 million recorded page views, and with thousands of users having contributed tens of thousands of posts, I’d have said you were out of your mind. I’m very proud of what BMG has achieved, and I look forward to watching it continue to grow in the years to come in our ever-evolving social media landscape. As I move on to new challenges, I want to thank BMG’s editors, users, and readers from the bottom of my heart, and to wish them all the very best.
Bob, Hester, and Charley are extremely grateful for what he built, maintained, and contributed here. Aside from his sharp and humane insights, David did a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes, maintaining the site and its operations.
At his request, that’s all we’re going to say about his departure.
David is plainly irreplaceable. But we need to think ahead about what this online community — strengthened by offline ties and relationships — can offer to the Commonwealth and the nation going forward. The political world vis-a-vis the internet has changed drastically in the last 12 years. We used to fill a gap in the online world, especially in Massachusetts politics; with a sense that if we didn’t say it, no one else would do it for us. Now, with Twitter and Facebook et al, practically everyone is “blogging.” We are inundated with opinion … not all of it high-quality. (A 140 character limit and a dopamine-hit appetite is a recipe for misunderstanding. Twitter is good for linking … but bad for thinking, as the President has conclusively established.)
We think, we hope, that BMG still has an important role to play. We have tried, imperfectly of course, to cultivate a culture of respectful, informative, “reality-based” discussion. There is contentious and fractious debate happening within the left and left-center. To win power, we need to reach beyond the traditional left, which in the age of Trump seems like a tantalizing possibility. Can progressives coalesce, and even appeal to some Trump voters disaffected by the money-politics and the downward mobility of the last generation? Can we use this massive setback as a slingshot to progress?
And on the state level, we have political paralysis: a Governor with seemingly invulnerable popularity, and a small-c conservative, tepidly cautious Speaker-for-Life. But massive challenges of inequality, cost of living, housing, racism, tax justice, environment and transportation remain. If the economy slows, people still can’t get to work on time, and we face crushing budget cuts due our own intransigence and Trumpism at the federal level … this will not hold. “Political capital” has a half-life best measured in months.
Under the circumstances, we still need a place where people can talk to each other with an expectation of civility and good faith. The stakes for cohesion and coalition on the left are extremely high right now.
We would like BMG to be useful to that end. We would like to continue to be the “water cooler” for Massachusetts political discussion, and perhaps to emphasize doing as much as talking — the site as an ancillary, not a replacement, for offline political action. We can tie into the Indivisibles and SwingLefts; hearings and legislation; issue campaigns and protests; primaries and elections.
We humbly solicit your advice and suggestions, thinking broadly, for how the site can better serve the community. Your editors run the site on volunteer time, too; and we recognize the occasional tension between keeping an institution running, and actually working towards its stated goals.
How could the site be better for you?