On hurling invective, insults …and shooting the moon.
It has become personal now. Politics has become personal, very personal.
“When people start hurling insults at you, you know their minds are closed and there’s no point in debating. You disengage yourself as quickly as possible from the situation.” — Judith Martin
That is usually good advice. However, there are times you cannot just ignore it.
Normally that is the case, but these are not normal times. Nor are the politics normal. As for the people, let’s see how “normal” they are? Who knew how abnormal it can get?
A good friend and blogger was recently the target of a drive by that made little sense to me. At first, I chalked it up to spilling vindictive insults at someone for the sake of it. The question was why? This is not a tedious back and forth but a street level synopsis. I don’t often go into personal matters but one must make exceptions when necessary.
Though when someone uses you as an example of their perceived problem with the political climate, it warrants your attention. First, a couple things to keep in mind: what is said on a blog post and what is said in comments and conversation are different. IOW, when someone makes a person or group of people the target of their wrath in a post, singling you out, it is on a higher level. When comments include their wrath it is a lesser degree. That’s how I quantify it anyway.
I’ve said before “on this blog I don’t claim “no bias” and do not provide or guarantee a politics free or politically correct zone.” So there is no hypersensitivity about a person’s feelings, including mine. Sometimes in criticizing others it reflects on our own shortfalls.
Friends, to example….to straw men
From the piece found here at Pesky Truth.
“This is just one example of how the rift between Trump supporters and Cruz supporters has come between people who used to be friends. We all called ourselves “conservatives” and supposedly believed in the same smaller government, lower taxes, strong military and so on. But then the 2016 presidential election intruded. People chose sides. That’s normally not a big deal, but this time it’s different – very different.”
Choosing political sides is one thing choosing friends another. Choosing is the operative word. We define ourselves. Like Cruz’s lines,”Donald said” this or that and “this is who Donald is.” But who is Ted? That’s the problem. Who knew it was controversial?
What drew me to the article on a blog I occasionally read in the first place was the title. It was about “what happened to people who USED to be our friends?” So there I am ignorantly reading an article when it references a good friend of mine sort of indirectly, at first. I expected from the title maybe it was a self-reflective thing. It was anything but. It was a slash and burn (IMO) about certain people he personally called into question.
People talk about “feeling the Bern,” but I was really feeling the burn.
The author was someone I even associated with as a contributor at another site. I thought I’d call him a friend, as others. That’s where it gets dicey… ‘I thought.’ I allow that rarely people agree on everything. Sometimes, as the quote above says, you just disassociate with others. So there are times when we should back away from the keyboards; and then there are times when we should take to the keyboard.
So it was to my surprise when I read the piece that skewered a friend as his “example,” along with her associates and participants, as “farm animals”. Later in one one of his comments he labeled them, presumably myself included, as flawed.
Here are some selected excerpts to his piece.
“The Trumpanzees have taken on the demeanor of Donald Trump. They lie, disparage, insult and ridicule Cruz supporters as if we were *ignorant rubes who couldn’t tie shoes without help.” – [*remember that, it returns]
Straw men have invaded the internet, everywhere, even among “friends”.
“I just happened to stop by one of the blogs that I used to think of as a “friendly” site. I thought that we were friends and I can recall commiserating with her when her husband passed away….
…but some of the miscreants that she’s gathered around her look like a Who’s Who of the Animal Farm.”
So we are called names. Trumpanzees: or anyone not digesting Cruz, as delivered. Then the farm animal reference. And we’re flawed, according to his comments. Might as well say flawed farm animals.
“Why would someone show only a reference to Cruz having made only ONE truthful statement?”
His piece was complete with a pasted part of her article and the date. Then he took issue with it and said
“You’ll also note that they provide no LINK to the PolitiFact site (so you can’t immediately verify the statement).”
He went on about her post without linking to it. So he put obvious links to his referred content but couldn’t bother to link or pingback the article he based an entire piece on.
Fair? I digress. This would notify the person that: one, he used their material; two that he did a subsequent attack. One set of ethics for others, another for him.
Then he took issue with what she put up.
“ the point here is that you shouldn’t use something like this unless a comparison to your candidate comes off looking good. “ / “Isn’t it only FAIR to COMPARE the two gentlemen?” / “Why would someone show only a reference to Cruz having made only ONE truthful statement?”
See, the thing about a blog is the author writes or includes what they want, it’s that simple. Unless he is trying to employ some “fairness doctrine.” He is citing a fairness standard?
I didn’t plan on going into the political nuance of what the author had in mind. The insult and invective was my focus here. You might note his title started with “what happened to people who USED to be our friends?” What of them?
Finally, in closing he refers to the ignorance of us, and or, Trump supporters. Apparently, it is open season, who knew. I’ll have to check the regulations.
“The most satisfying thing about this is that the readers of Pesky Truth know the TRUTH, those that frequent that other blog don’t. They’re so pumped full of Trump’s lies they’re oblivious to the truth – let’s let them stay that way – after all, “ignorance is bliss,” so they’ll remain blissful in their ignorance.
Again, I am not parsing politics. I’ll do my own politics in other posts. The personal assault was the subject. So we’re flawed, weak, miscreants, farm animals, and chimpanzees crossbred with Trump supporters. So add ignorant or ignorance to the list.
BTW: the same guy did one of his lengthy trademark satires, if you are so inclined. I did wonder exactly who he had in mind in the hog farm, redneck, hillbilly saga?
Links to politi-fact sites but he can’t bother to ping his central source.
And what of the friends part? I guess not. No problem.
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