Ugh. I’m a troller. I guess that’s the first step of recovery, right? Admit what ails you and move on. I’ve gotten better over the past year at not wasting so much time engaging in debates with people who either don’t listen or don’t fight fair, but I’ve got a ways to go. This past week, I came across an image that sums it up pretty well.
I have to admit, I do get some enjoyment of debating the far right, exposing some of the lunacy that I see and watching the opposition back-pedal. I’ve engaged some rather famous people on Twitter ( Grover Norquist and Greg Guttfeld are two that come to mind ), and gotten direct responses in the form of text messages. I pushed the conservative button and they didn’t like it. Mission accomplished.
So exposing hypocrisy is a favorite past-time of mine. To a point. I’ve recently decided that it’s the responsibility of the Facebook page moderator to referee a fair fight, and to keep debates from digressing into personal attacks. I had to do this myself recently. A good friend I have on Facebook, Duane, whom I disagree with strongly on most issues, was misunderstood on a post that intended sarcasm, and he was exposed to a personal attack by another Facebook friend, a raging alcoholic, who attacked Duane when he didn’t know what he was talking about. I ‘unfriended’ him immediately and apologized to Duane for the behavior of this other guy. I didn’t think twice about it. Good riddance, Tom. It was embarrassing and there’s no place for it.
I had this one Facebook friend, Mark, who is perhaps the most passionate debater I’ve ever run across. Mark and I go back to high school and even though we didn’t hang out much together during those years, I think we both got some enjoyment out of sparring online. Mark’s a Tea Partier, thus limited in his weaponry of material to make a logical argument that can’t be refuted by pointing out the irony and hypocrisy of his assertions. He was an easy fish to fry as they say. He probably felt the same way about me as well. He probably thought he was roasting a liberal every time we sparred online.
But last week Mark failed miserably at moderating his page and I checked out. Some of his other friends are also raging Tea Party loons who engage in personal attacks. I’m not a big fan of that. In the past I’ve just ignored their comments, but this time I was baited into joining the debate, and then attacked by some raging idiot who doesn’t know up from down, and Mark did nothing. I’m out.
So it’s not that I don’t care for Mark, I do. He’s a good guy at heart. Terribly misguided by the partisan ‘News’ channels he watches, but none-the-less, if you needed someone to step in and do what’s right in a confrontation, Mark would be your guy. A sports fanatic with a pretty decent resume as a player himself, he’s a veritable encyclopedia of information about college football and sports in general.
It’s with some sadness that I had to disengage from the online sparring with Mark. It wasn’t as much about him as it was his inability to referee a fair, above the belt fight. I’m sure not everyone agrees with me on this, but just the same, this is my new policy. Control your ‘friends’ or else I’m out.
But such is the nature of the state of politics in the USA today. It’s horribly partisan and not very constructive. The Tea Party in particular seems like they don’t stand for anything in particular other than, “We want whatever is the opposite of what Obama wants.” I doubt that is going to sell very well in the mid-terms or the next election cycle. I’m thankful that it appears the Tea Party has been exposed for the extreme organization of hypocritical loons that it is and has no chance in the next election cycle. Republicans, moderates, may still win the day, but the party won’t be dominated by the Ted Cruz / Sarah Palin / Duck Dynasty crowd anymore, because enough time has passed that the general population doesn’t want any part of it. Thank God for that.
And speaking of God, isn’t it ironic that the flag waving fundamentalists are the ones calling you “Fucking commies, fucking socialists, fucking Nazis” on one post, and then posting about their personal relationship with God a few minutes later. I find that amusing more than anything.
In the mean time, I’ll continue to follow the words of Krugman and Reich. Sure they may have a liberal bias, but they also have PhD’s. Which is more than I can say for the Get right with God Duck Dynasty / Climate change deniers / NRA fanatic crowd. Does being right count for anything?
Have a good weekend.