Sep. 4th, 2012

partly: (IMNSHO)
There are a lot of reasons that I don't discuss politics online but it's mostly because almost no one ever discusses politics online. You see, the only point of any online political commentary to belittle and deride the person who is making the political commentary.

The tactics for political discussion are simple: Don't focus on the statements being made, the ideas being posited or the theories that are presented. Instead focus on the person making the statement and create the illusion that they are completely dismissible -- that they are so mentally, emotionally, educationally or even physically unsound that anything they say or do is to be ignored, humored or pitied.

It all smacks of the bullying tactics that I have lived with most of my life:
  • "You can't listen to her -- she's just a girl."
  • "She's from {insert place of choice}. What could she know?"
  • "She's just being overly emotional, women are that way after all."
  • "She's just saying that because she's {insert any religious or non-religious belief here}."
  • "You can't trust anyone who would wear that outfit."
  • "Oh, come on! She's obviously too {old/young/uneducated/blonde/busty} to have any good thoughts."
See how easy it is? Don't even adress the issue. By dismissing the person saying it, you automatically place yourself in a superior position. Hell, if you do it right, you can even make yourself seem like you only have that person's best interest at heart. "You can't take anything he says seriously. Look at him! He's just so fat and stupid! I mean, it's unhealthy for him to be that way. I'm just saying all this because he should really lose some weight." Belittle and dismiss the speaker and make yourself look kind and caring in the same sentence!

What's worse, is that online, all this is considered riotously clever and funny. Just as the school-yard bully would garner laughs when they would sing "fatty-fatty-two-by-four" or trip someone with glasses calling them "four-eyes" the internet is full of examples of people who enjoy watching a bully at work.  And it's even justified by the same sediments that a run-of-the-mill-bully would use: Well, if they can't take it they shouldn't be part of [politics/choir/football team/this school]."

In the end, I suppose, it's too threatening to acknowledge that there may be someone out there who is your equal and yet can hold an opinion that is opposite of yours. It takes courage to respect someone who holds an oposite view. It threatens the black and white view that most hold on politics -- the "there is only one right view and anyone who thinks differently must be ignorant or evil" line of thought that most hold.

This isn't done just by individuals, either. It's institutionalized.  It's like the teachers and the principals are the ones leading the bullying charge.  Just read the articles about politics and see how often the writers spend most of the space painting the speaker as so insignificant that they can dismiss what that speaker said without ever addressing the points brought up.

In Wisconsin I've been living with this crap for more than a year and I don't see it changing after the election.  The world is full of poor losers who all own poison pens and see bullying as a valid tactic to get ahead.

My tweets

Sep. 4th, 2012 12:00 pm
partly: (Default)
  • Mon, 12:06: I think Labor Day is an offensive holiday to all those who can't find a job in this depressed economy.
  • Mon, 14:59: Found a moment to sit down from the big party at our house! So nice that my room is cool and quiet!
  • Tue, 09:47: What? Out of coffee already? We drink a lot more coffee when Myr has to get up for school.
  • Tue, 11:11: I. Hate. Politics. http://t.co/VzNIiAeb

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