I’m Now Almost Scared to Voice an Opinion

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

I don’t know how some of my Facebook friends do it! Especially my liberal ones. I see almost daily a post espousing what I believe a sensible (OK, liberal!) point of view, and on its thread will be not just disagreements, but invective of some of the most vile and insulting one can imagine. It’s apparently not enough anymore to just disagree, you have to chastise the person who voiced the opinion. It’s not a simple, “You’re wrong, and this is why” anymore. Now it’s more of a blanket statement along the lines of “Well that’s what we’d expect from you bleeding heart liberal retards. You’re a bunch of idiots, and Obama’s a terrorist, and Reagan was God, and don’t take away my guns, and fuck you all.”

Maybe I’m paraphrasing a bit, but I do know I’d be hard pressed to argue points with any of the more extreme righties, most of whom I’ve probably unfriended somewhere along the way. I don’t want some Christian Rightist posting photos of aborted fetuses to show how awful this is and how awful we are to allow it. I don’t want to see supposed “funny” pictures of Obama with a Hitler mustache. Or eating watermelon or fried chicken. I don’t want to hear about guns being essential in our lives. Yet things like the above have at various times shown up on my timeline.

What’s even worse is in most of the political arguments I’ve viewed of late, it seems that the right winger always has immediate access to propaganda links to justify whatever counter point they want to make, then if the liberal doesn’t counter with links of their own to prove their side, the rightie can declare another “victory,” and further proof what idiots we are for not agreeing with or endorsing their point of view, and having nothing (in their view) to back our beliefs.

I saw this again in the debate a few days ago about the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol building in South Carolina in the wake of the church shootings a couple weeks ago, as well as the canceling of reruns of the 80’s TV series “The Dukes Of Hazzard” from the TV Land nostalgia TV network because the protagonists drove a car emblazoned with the same flag. This all seemed a no-brainer to me, but then I saw a repulsive debate on Facebook, where one of the participants, certainly no friend of mine, was pulling up all sorts of links and statistics that “proved” the Civil War wasn’t about slavery at all, and that blacks never had it so good as they did then. No matter how much this person’s “facts” were challenged, they would turn it back to their doubters, in the manner of “Well, show me just one reliable source,” like that was going to make the slightest difference.

I just don’t have the energy to spend all day online looking for YouTube links that define where I’m at. I read, I absorb, and formulate my opinions that way. I think it’s called common sense? But if I got into arguments with these folk, I’m sure I’d lose, because I get easily frustrated when I have to defend myself to someone who’s not going to listen anyway. In fact I did in effect lose one such argument a few years ago, only because as the person was telling me “Your an idiot if you believe that,” my only counter was, “I think we learned the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ by the time we left primary school.” His response was, “Your just trying to change the subject, cuz that’s what you libtards do when you can’t face facts!” Because I didn’t carry it any further, citing what a nice day it was to waste having this discussion, he probably patted himself on the back in triumph.

It also amazes me that the guys who I agree with will keep their antagonists as friends, almost being a glutton for punishment. Maybe because all participants are safely in their homes, they feel some newfound courage. I do wonder if anyone has changed their way of thinking as a result of these vitriolic discussions. One of the reasons I read the conservative Daily Mail every day is to me it’s a more sane way to get the view from the other side. We don’t have ready access to Fox News in UK except on the more elaborate satellite TV systems, oh poor us! Daily Mail columnists insult liberals pretty freely as well, and mostly it’s at the level of “How naive these people are,” but at least those columnists, to their credit, can also construct a coherent sentence.

The only time I “won” an argument on Facebook wasn’t even political. I put in a friend request to someone who bullied me almost daily in high school, and then was shocked by him accepting. My first and only direct message to him was, “Don’t you realize who you just friended? Well, as a reminder, you made my life a living hell for over a year, and since I’m in England (he was in Texas) and over 40 years have passed, I’m in a position where I can finally say fuck you and you can’t do anything about it.” There was no response, except I was pretty quickly unfriended. It may have been a bit chicken shit to handle things that way, but it was a long time coming.

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