Friday, November 03, 2017


For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past ten years of so, ya might want to peek outside once in a while ... then retreat back under the rock. It's ugly out there, folks.

Not surprisingly, much of the ugliness comes from the Republican Party, Sure, their members will claim that liberals are full of hate and vitriol, and I s'pose they have a point. After all, what is more hateful than demanding that people be treated equally regardless of gender, race, sexual identity, or religion? And I imagine that the mental trauma that comes with knowing that, regardless of what job you get, it will pay a living wage can be -- well, traumatizing.

Conservatives have a whole bag of tricks when it comes to redirecting the debate. For example, I was in a debate with two conservatives the other day about the necessity of following Constitutionally guaranteed procedures in trying the NYC attacker, while one of them was firmly in the "he's a Muslim and attacked us, so let's just kill him and be done with it" camp. The conversation went a little something like this (a-one, and a-two ...)

A conservative acquaintance of mine (correctly) pointed out the stupidity of some people faulting trump for calling for the death penalty for the NYC attacker and not the Vegas shooter because they are overlooking or ignoring that whole "he's already dead" thing. I pointed out that trump wants to impose the death penalty without any trial or other Constitutionally protected rights.
Another conservative jumped in and said, basically, that I was a moron for thinking that the NYC attacked might be innocent. I responded by saying that process matters, to which the other guy called the attacker an "enemy combatant." When I pointed out that he couldn't be an enemy combatant because there has been no declaration of war, he pivoted to complaining about the waste of resources to keep the guy in the country before the attack, or something (it was a bit incoherent).

After that it kinda spiraled down the rabbit hole. When I pointed out that there is systemic racism involved in that the NYC attacker -- a brown guy with an Arabic-sounding name -- was immediately labeled a terrorist while the various and sundry white guys that have engaged in mass killings over the past few years have all been "mentally disturbed lone wolves," I was told that I was a "partisan hack" who follows the precept of "when all else fails, mention white people."

Direct quotes, by the way.

From there it went downhill fast. Every time I mentioned a point, the conservatives would pivot away from it, knowing it was a losing battle for them. White privilege, xenophobia ("... he shouldn't be here in the first place he's not an American and he used the graces of our nation and the graces of our tax dollars to sit here and feed off of us all and then kill us"), the diversity lottery and how this bipartisan bill signed into law by G. W. Bush was Obama's fault, how the popular vote is meaningless (except when it favors their side, of course), returning immigration to what it was 300 years ago, or 50 years ago (I'm not really sure what point they were trying to make here), slavery ("... this country is so awesome that it fixed it's problem almost instantly.... actually white Christians fixed the problem before it got way out of hand and lasted for hundreds or even thousands of years like most other countries did") and the fact that European countries that are roughly 3,000 years older than the US had slavery for a longer period, at which point they trotted out the tired old, discredited trope about the Democrats actually being the party of slavery (as if that's relevant now) ... and on and on and on.

It's like arguing passionately with a tree stump. You're going to yell and scream and get your blood pressure up, and nothing you say or do will make one whit of difference. You know, because it's a fucking tree stump. It's much the same with Republicans ... you can use every fact known to man, cited, sourced, cross-referenced, vetted, corroborated and validated, and the response is always going to be "Oh yeah? Well, Hillary's a crook, so lock her up."

My advice? Only get into a debate with a Republican -- especially online -- if you have a high tolerance for stupid or are willing to deal with trolls. Otherwise, you're better off doing something a little less hazardous to your mental health, like meditation, or going to dinner with Harvey Weinstein.

I gotta lie down.

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