Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it supposed to be the Trump supporters who were mentally dysfunctional morons?
Consistent with my pledge to confront my Facebook friends and their cronies when they post “resistance” Big Lies, Democratic talking points, fake news and “Orange Man Bad” insults that are no more than gratuitous hate, I confronted a theater acquaintance this afternoons when her response to a post about the border terrorists who were allegedly planning to assassinate Obama and Hillary Clinton. Her offensive comment (I’ll be paraphrasing these), “So I don’t want to hear any more about how some people said mean things to people in red hats.”
Despicable, I told her. You’re trivializing thugs harassing and in some cases assaulting law-abiding citizens based on their political views. That’s seriously undemocratic behavior, and worse, it’s a fascist tactic endorsed by leaders of the Democratic Party. I could have said, but didn’t, that hers was a fair imitation of Rep. Omar’s infamous “somebody did something” minimizing of the Muslim attacks on 9/11, and a dumb use of Rationalization 22, the bottom of the barrel, “It’s not the worst thing.”
Her reply was incoherent. Do I deny that Supreme Court Justices and other progressives have received death threats, and if I don’t think that’s worse than the red hat incidents she referred to, then I should just unfriend her. What? What do death threats to Supreme Court Justices (or anyone) have to do with screaming at old men in MAGA hats? This more #22ing, to a demented level.Then I get the “defriend me” crap. Translation: If you insist on challenging my unfounded, ignorant and unethical comments, I don’t want deal with it. Well, I don’t unfriend people because I disagree with them. Friends don’t let friends post stupid.
That’s not all, though. She ended her “rebuttal” with “We’re on the right side of history,” a verbatim recitation of another awful rationalization on the list, Rationalization 1B. The Psychic Historian or “I’m On The Right Side Of History,” and strong evidence that the writer’s brain sneaked out of her brain while she was asleep. Not only was the fatuous claim popular with the Nazis, the Communists,anarchists, the hippies and more, it’s generally proof that an advocate has no arguments, just unmoored certitude.
Then the Collective attacked. “You can tell a Trump supporter because he uses words like ‘thugs'” said one, and then referenced Jonestown. Huh? What a classic example of dirty argument techniques. First, play the “politically incorrect word” card to change the subject, or try. Thug, however, is a perfectly good word for anyone of any gender or race who bullies and intimidates people in public who are wearing MAGA hats. Then comes one of the reflex responses in the Facebook Borg: If you rebut a bad argument and an unfair or false accusation involving the President, that means you are “a supporter,” ergo “bad,” ergo a “deplorable,” ergo someone whose arguments can and should be dismissed. Do these same people who make this argument also believe that those who defend murderers from illegal and unethical prosecutorial tactics support murderers? I’m sure some of them do.
Another Facebook friend in a different discussion insisted that I would read the Mueller report as supporting impeachment if the President was Obama. Amazing. The bias claim is a weapon of first resort, and I had already explained with quotes from the report—which of course he hadn’t read—why there was no support for “collusion” and why the obstruction claim was weak at best.
What this approach admits, if you think about it, is that if you’re a good, dependable Trump-hating Facebook Borg member, you shouldn’t care about fairness, logic or facts.If you don’t embrace the idea that the President should be buried in false accusations and hate, you’re a supporter of the Embodiment of Evil, meaning that you are evil.
By the way, the FBF who made the ridiculous Obama accusation is a former award-winning journalist. When I documented the Washington Post’s miserable, bias-fueled sliming of the Covington students while ignoring the most basic tenets of the paper’s own ethics standards, he wrote that the only reason I criticized the Post was because they often gave critical reviews to my theater company’s productions. He had no rebuttal to the substance of what I wrote about the Covington fiasco. Just a deflection.
Speaking of deflections, another Borg member, a friend of my acquaintance who made the “right side of history” howler, asked I could be upset about the treatment of MAGA hat wearers when the President “puts children in cages.” I pointed out how that was a false and inflammatory characterization, but that even if it weren’t, Ethics 101 holds that Person A’s unethical conduct isn’t mitigated or excused by Person B’s unethical conduct. I could simply copy that point into about 100 Facebook threads a day. Now, it is undeniably true that President Trump doesn’t comprehend that principle either. Yet the people who hate him so much endorse the same tit-for-tat ethics fallacy that he does.
Yet another Borg weighed in with this: “I’m curious…do you feel the same way about the Tea Party members who spit on Democratic members of Congress?” This was, of course, just another variety of my journalist friend’s accusation of a double standard, but even dumber. First, I pointed out that the spitting accusation was denied by every Tea Party member present when the Democratic reps had to run the gauntlet of protesters on the way to ramming through Obamacare in March of 2010. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver accused a demonstrator of spitting on him, but viral video of the alleged incident didn’t confirm what Cleaver claimed, other than Cleaver’s reaction to a protester appearing to yell “kill the bill” in his face. One Tea Party group offered a $15,000 reward for proof of the spitting.
Nevertheless, I continued, let’s assume arguendo (I love saying “arguendo”) that the spitting incident occurred. Spitting is assault; of course I would condemn it. However, accosting mere citizens trying to go about their business because they wear a Trump-supporting cap and a protester accosting elected officials in a demonstration are not equivalents, not even close. It’s a rotten analogy.
(Wait…what does Jonestown have to do with anything?)
So my travails today make me ask: were these people always incapable of civil discourse, critical thought and intelligent argument, has their Trump Derangement lowered their IQs, is spending all day on social media having their emotion and talking-point based beliefs echoed by virtue-signalling members of the Facebook Borg, is it some combination of these, or is something else at work?
I don’t know. I do know that arguing with people this handicapped is like arguing with a first-grader.