I’m Sorry, But I (and others) Just Can’t Take You Seriously Anymore

Posted: April 28, 2017 in Life, News, Politics
Tags: , ,

Since the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, I’ve gotten to the point where I simply can’t take the political observations and commentary of any number of people and groups seriously anymore. The specific reasons change from person to person, group to group, but they all create the same basic overall reasons as to why I can’t take the political observations and commentary of any number of people seriously these days. Your words and positions now- especially in the cases where your words and positions from the eight years prior to Trump’s election are public record–just end up making you look foolish and/or hypocritical to a degree that just makes me want to laugh at you.

The protesters that I’ve seen at places like Berkeley over Milo’s appearances or the protesters I’ve seen in my own state trying to drown out speakers at Republican events? You come across as clueless, ignorant children. You also come across as cowards.

I’ve had a simple philosophy for decades now when it comes to political speech. If you don’t like the ideas or words of someone you are politically or philosophically opposed to, it falls on you to meet and defeat their ideas and words with better ones of your own. By “better” ideas and words, I mean carefully thought out and presented ideas designed to clearly articulate your position and to persuade others that your position is in fact the correct one. By “better” ideas and words, I do not mean showing up at someone else’s event and screeching idiotic slogans and buzz phrases at the top of your lungs through bullhorns mixed with profanities like “Fuck [person of the moment they hate]” while banging on makeshift drums and calling anyone and everyone Nazis in an attempt to ensure that the speaker at the actual rally in question can’t be heard by the people there to see him or her. By “better” ideas and words, I do not mean launching destructive protests to shut out the other people even being able to be somewhere and talk at all because you know you haven’t the intelligence enough to put together an intelligent rebuttal to their ideas.

Let’s go back in time a few months for an example that everyone knows. Bill Maher- who, for the record, I think is a usually worthless, ignorant ass –took a lot of heat from those childish protester types and their defenders for having Milo Yiannopoulos- who, for the record, I think is even more of a worthless, ignorant ass –as a guest on his show. The thing is, he should never have taken any heat for it at all. Why? Because it was one of those rare occasions when Maher was absolutely, 100% correct about his position.

Maher knew a simple, fundamental truth about partisan hucksters and bullshit artists like Limbaugh, Savage, Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly, Loesch, Lahren, and Yiannopoulos. They’re brilliant when they can talk in a carefully constructed bubble and can control the flow of facts being used or what is and isn’t allowed into a conversation. They’re geniuses when they can preach to the quire through their books, editorials, or on their own social media and don’t have to face questions or give responses of any substance to opposing points of view presented by someone on equal footing in a conversation. But you take them out of their bubble, you make them engage in a conversation rather than demagoguery, and they look like uninformed fools or clowns.

Milo Yiannopoulos went onto Bill Maher’s show and literally had nothing of value or intelligence to add to any discussion for the vast majority of his time there. Not having anything of value or intelligence to say, he mostly fell back on trying to play to an audience that was not his loyal followers or trying to get responses to flame throwing snark. He failed miserably at both things and came off looking like a half-witted fool.

And that’s who the student protesters at Berkeley were afraid to face word for word, idea for idea?

Milo Yiannopoulos and many like him on the left and the right are not intellectual debaters. Milo Yiannopoulos and many like him on the left and the right are the political equivalent of shock jocks. The Milos of the political world can’t create an intelligent argument powerful enough to last more than a few minutes in an actual debate. As such they resort to essentially childish insults and spewing idiocies as attempts to provoke outrage while claiming that such things are just humor. They can’t hold their own on an intellectual level, so their game plan is to attempt eliciting a desired response from their supporters and their critics alike through means of shock and/or vulgarity. But, as Bill Maher largely showed when he had Milo Yiannopoulos on his show, if you don’t rise to their bait and you try to keep the discussion to genuine ideas- they crumble and look like foolish children. Even better, Milo Yiannopoulos proved a short time after that, just as many shock jocks and fools before him have, that given the freedom to express themselves they’ll eventually self-destruct from their own stupidity.

And that’s who the student protesters at Berkeley were afraid to face word to word, idea to idea?

Well, yeah, it was. They were afraid because the protesters at Berkeley and the counter-protesters at any number of rallies set up by conservative politicians who acted like the protesters at Berkeley or like the ones I described above are, frankly, little more than foolish, cowardly children themselves.

Additionally, anyone supporting them or their actions is little better themselves. This is especially true when it comes to the recent “Punch a Nazi in the Face” movement. Walking up to someone and sucker punching them in the face doesn’t make you heroic; it just makes you a coward. Initiating violence with no warning against someone who has not raised their hand in violence to you doesn’t make you a champion of justice; it just makes you a petty thug.

Again, it goes back to words. A right-wing/alt-right extremist like Richard Spencer has no true power in this country; certainly not in this day and age. He doesn’t have the power to order the deaths of groups of individuals he doesn’t like because of their color, their religion, or their sexual identity and have armies carry out those death sentences as did the real Nazis decades ago in Germany. All he has is his words. If you have to resort to using your fists to counter his words, you are, frankly, worse than him. Anyone with a functional brain could easily talk circles around him and anyone like him, making them look like the pathetic things that they- both the ideas and the people –are. Anyone so intimidated by his words and ideas and afraid of the weakness in their own words and ideas that they feel they have to resort to sucker punches and other forms of violence only prove themselves to be more pathetic than him.

 

Even more so, anyone who has to gather into a group to protest with violence to shut out ideas and words they dislike rather than meeting the words and ideas head on prove themselves to be even more pathetic. The very existence of this country owes itself in large part to the ability of men and women to use strong ideas and persuasive arguments to move us from bad ideas to better ideas to good ideas.

If you want to act like an even dumber child by throwing bottles, bricks, rocks, and firecrackers at the people you dislike; you lose the any right to claim the status of victim afterwards. When you seek to act like the thing you claim others are, you prove how truly foolish and worthless you are.

One of the things that separates this country from other countries even in this day and age is that we have allowed people to enter into the public square and speak their belief insofar as what they view as the right path for this country’s future. Other people then enter the public square and agree or disagree with them. We exchange ideas and, typically, if you look at the paths we’ve eventually taken, our country moves towards the correct ideas as the decades and centuries march on. It may take time and we may not make the right moves as quickly as some wish we would, but we always move towards the paths that are just and correct.

But the game being played by the foolish fringe growing beyond being just a foolish fringe on the left in the form of such protesters and movements like the SJWs run a very real risk of not only metaphorically cutting the throats of those they wish to silence, but metaphorically cutting their own as well. The new growing social political movements (on both the left and the right but largely more noticeably these days on the left) view the new world they wish us all to exist in as “correct” and “proper” when there are no “incorrect” or “inappropriate” words and ideas being expressed in the public square. We must be enlightened or “woke” in this world, and once we are such things will be, obviously, better left unsaid. If someone still wishes to at least say these things? Force them into silence.

The problems with trying to force such forms of censorship onto society as the norm, especially through mild coercion to outright violence, is that you create a “norm” where you will only be safe so long as it is you who completely control the societal definitions of what is “correct” and “proper”. The problem with such social revolutions that the participants never bother studying history long enough to understand is that no such social revolution built on such repressive and repugnant ideals ever lasts for long. The rules you’ve put in place? Those may last, but they’ll become the weapons used against you rather than by you. The next social revolution always comes along, maybe in direct opposition to your ideals, maybe in the fanatical fringe growing within your own that sees you as not ideologically pure enough. Suddenly the rules you’ve established as the norm are used to keep you from speaking out or voicing ideas that they don’t like.

It’s not like we haven’t seen this play out over and over again throughout history. No people who have allowed themselves to be ruled by fascism or by oppressive ideological/theological dictatorships ever set out to make themselves the oppressed. Many of them started out the same way. They started out like you. They thought that they alone could define what was right, correct, and proper speech and thought, and they viewed it as a social victory when they could shut out and shut down any they didn’t like in the institutions of higher learning, or societally censor and silence concepts, speech, and ideas they deemed not proper and correct. Then they lost control of the reins of power as everyone inevitably does. Suddenly it was their concepts, speech, and ideas that were being deemed not proper and correct. Suddenly they were the oppressed, and they were stupid enough to wonder how it happened.

We don’t do that here. We have a public square that includes private forums, public assemblies and broadcasts, and institutes of higher learning. We argue, we debate, we meet ideas with ideas. That’s how we steer our society’s course and shape our country. We don’t silence voices by threat or by actual violence. We don’t deem thoughts unspeakable simply because some of our citizenry are too stupid, too lazy, or too fragile by their own choice to handle such things.

If anything, colleges of all places and the students who attend them should want such debate on their grounds. In a way colleges are in fact “safe spaces” in that you can learn how to face such things and better equip yourself to debate such matters without the same level of consequences for failure that you would face out in “the real world” once college is left behind. It’s where young adults should be preparing themselves for facing the realities of the real world, not hiding from them and metaphorically sucking their thumbs to comfort themselves while crying whenever they’re exposed to things they don’t like.

But colleges are one of the places that seem to be falling faster than many other institutions into the realm of thought police, word police, and- truly insanely -perceived intention police. Censorship is slowly beginning to win in some parts of society, and it’s doing so in part because too many people have decided that what’s right is based purely on what political side they’ve chosen to be on and under the misguided belief that only they have the proper right to decide what is and is not allowable in society.

What’s truly hilarious about people this idiotically married to a cause is the effect their types of actions actually have. Reasoned approaches to and advancements of social justice and the advancements of a society may meet with resistance by the keepers of the old ways, but the inevitability of any course that is truly right and just and proper generally wins out the majority of the support by the masses when presented in reasoned ways. Acting like violent children, acting like the fascists you label others as, tends to have a boomerang effect. When you make the face of your movement and even the general side your movement claims to be on one of a group of thuggish, narrow minded children who will shut down, repress, and censor anything they disagree with, you make your movement look like a danger to society to anyone who has the ability to reason and think like an adult. You can end up making the other side look sane by comparison, and when you then force people to choose between your side and the side that isn’t violently shutting down speech and thought they don’t approve of, people tend to go with the side that isn’t actually acting like the fascists they claim to hate.

****************************************************************

Having just spent a considerable amount of words specifically targeting groups on the left and likely annoying my friends on the left, I shall now enter into the world of equal opportunity annoying by specifically targeting groups and people on the right and annoying my friends on the right. However, I will say that for all of the excuse making and even support for censorship that happens on the right, the left side of the spectrum takes equal blame. Far too many people would rather be hypocrites and declare their side right and just (or simply not as bad as those people on the other side) instead of standing on the line and properly condemning their own side when they are in the wrong.

I’ll start out by going back to the two men I used in my first example- Milo Yiannopoulos and Bill Maher. I’ll then move on to Michael Moore and Donald Trump.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/72481-s-s-children-s-authors-protest-yiannopoulos-deal.html

Just before Milo’s own stupidity derailed the publication of his book; a group of mostly children’s authors working for the publisher of the soon to be book wrote a letter to the publisher denouncing Milo’s forthcoming book and questioning the actions of having their brand associated with his. The response from many on the right was both instant and predictable. They mustered all the fake outrage they could and condemned the fascism and censorship of the left. This was laughable for two reasons.

First, there were over 160 authors who signed the letter. There are people on the right of the political spectrum who find Milo Yiannopoulos to be idiotic and repugnant. There could easily be authors who leaned more right than left in the group who felt that associating Milo with their brand could damage the reach of their products. The fact is no one actually checked the political affiliation of every author, they just chose to speak without facts and attack the other side.

But it was the second reason that made their reactions more laughable than anything else. It was the amazing level of hypocrisy put on display in their moment of fake partisan outrage. A number of people threw out labels like fascists, book burners, censors, and other even less polite things. These authors were examples of the intolerant left who in their cowardice blah blah blah blah.

The thing is, I knew some of these people. Some I simply knew of by their more public reputations while some were people I knew quite well and have known for a long time now. I knew where they stood on past examples of protests against someone for speaking political ideas as well as full on attempts at censorship of individuals. In many cases, their history included a lot of leaping from one side of the argument to the other based on the politics of the individual. Case in point- Bill Maher.

Some years back a conservative group tried to get Bill Maher removed from HBO over comments he made on Twitter. They did this not by targeting just his show, but by trying to threaten HBO with a channel-wide boycott. Their threat was that they would promote a boycott of all HBO programming so long as Bill Maher was kept on the air. Obviously, they didn’t have the success they wanted with that. But there were any number of debates about the topic on any number of forums and blogs around the internet. Some of them involved the exact same people who were condemning the authors who signed the letter protesting Milo’s book.

Copy and paste is a wonderful thing.

Rather than say and do what many of those who knew me expected me to say and do, I was met with some level of shock and outrage by many when I seemingly supported the people they were flaming as book burners, censors, and fascists. The thing is, and I never have told most of them this, I was simply copying and pasting their own words from when they either blew off the idea that a boycott against Bill Maher was in fact a real boycott or where they actively defended the boycott attempt. This included such gems along the lines of following concepts.

* Stating that it wasn’t really a boycott or censorship because he could always get a new show [changed to get a new book deal] again somewhere else.

* Stating that, well, it’s their right to express themselves as they see fit and that’s not censorship if he gets dropped.

* Declaring that it doesn’t have anything to do with violating his right to free speech because the 1st Amendment has to do with the government censoring speech, not people expressing a desire to see hateful speech stopped and you people need to educate yourself on what the Constitution really says.

That one was usually paired up with another two of their favorites. These would be…

* Free speech doesn’t mean freedom from the consequences of that speech. If you say hateful things, others have the right to say and do what they want against that speech.

* No one has a right to host a TV show or write a book. They can say whatever they want, but they have no right to have it disseminated to the masses or to keep it out in the public square if the public wants it removed.

And so on.

I just took their own words from the Bill Maher incident and a few other such incidents and quoted them back at them while they were declaring outrage- OUTRAGE! -over the protest around the Milo Yiannopoulos book deal. Their responses were actually rather hilarious.

I was told that the things I was saying were un-American. I was told that the things I was saying were threats to freedom of speech. Most hilariously, my favorite response from them while not realizing that they were looking at their own words defending conservative censorship from some years ago was the declaration that it was the left saying and doing these types of things that lost them the last few elections. I was asked point blank how I could be so poisoned by partisanship that I would go along with so vile a concept as censorship against someone I didn’t like.

I just sort of laughed as I read their new words unknowingly condemning their old words.

There was also a recent controversy involving comments by Michael Moore back in December of 2016. Moore stated that he wanted to see protesters disrupt the Trump Inauguration in January. He actually praised the idea of this being done on his social media and in at least one interview. Needless to say, this annoyed more than a few Trump fans.

Now, I should say here what I said in any number of places back when Moore made his statement and when these discussions were taking place. I strongly disagreed with Moore. Whether anyone likes or dislikes the outcome of an election, it is not their place to be a disruptive force during the transition of power in this country or the ceremony we have placed around it. The moment that you decide that you are entitled to such infantile actions is the moment that you lose any ability to be a credible voice condemning the other side if or when they do the same to your candidate during their ceremony. I would have and had zero issues with people who take protests about being a visible presence turning them into fully disruptive protests- especially destructive and/or violent disruptive protests –being arrested, charged, and even jailed depending on the level of their offense.

But we won’t be addressing the actual actions here. We’ll be addressing the amazing and idiotic levels to which people will go through mental gymnastics to be hypocrites and defend their hypocrisy when it comes to demanding that people be punished for simply saying something.

Again, Moore made his comments about wishing to see protesters disrupt the Trump inauguration. This was met by Trump supporters with great outrage. One such Trump supporter, Thaddeus Dionne Alexander, was a former member of the Air Force who has become a darling of conservative websites and programs like Fox & Friends because he has a YouTube channel where he says things designed to appeal to confirmation bias but are typically- based on the admittedly smaller sampling of his channel that I’ve seen -statements without any real intellectual grounding. He went on to the Fox & Friends show and declared that Moore, should anyone do anything during the inauguration, needed to be charged and made an example of. This video was shared by Fox & Friends on their various social media platforms. You can see the video shared on their Facebook page by clicking the link below.


https://www.facebook.com/foxandfriends/videos/1262331133854480/

This was shared and cheered by a number of conservative groups on Facebook as well as by people I knew who were hardcore Trump supporters. Interestingly, one group of people I know actually knows this guy. This lead to one of the more ridiculously hilarious responses I received.

Let’s break down the concept of his statement.

He proposed that since Michael Moore said that people should disrupt the inauguration, Moore should be charged and made an example of should anyone do anything of the kind. Now, he didn’t specify that there should be any sort of proven direct link between a theoretical disruptive protester and Michael Moore. There were no qualifiers that it had to be someone actually with Moore in DC at the time, someone brought into DC by Moore, a known current or former associate of Moore, or even someone saying they did it because Moore said it should be done. His entire statement was simply that Moore should be charged and made an example of for saying what he said should anyone do anything at all at the inauguration.

Trump supporters cheered their support of this idea. Words should have consequences after all, and you should face charges and even jail time if you suggest in a public forum that people should do something illegal or unethical and it is in fact done by anyone. Some people were even suggesting that Moore should be arrested and locked up before the inauguration because he was attempting to incite people to engage in illegal activities.

I probably shouldn’t have done it, but I jumped into somewhere around ten threads on Facebook; most by Facebook groups, only a few by people I knew. I actually decided at that time to largely avoid antagonizing people I knew, but I did target one thread by someone I knew since it was made clear by his initial post that he and a number of his friends actually knew Thaddeus Dionne Alexander, who they all referred to simply as Dionne when he was tagged in comments, and I rightly assumed that Dionne would eventually comment in the discussion.

I played around in the various threads for about a day. Depending on the thread I was in, I used one of the following two questions. I actually used both in the course of a few longer ones.

Question 1- I’ll support such actions against Moore so long as we’re treating both sides the same. You’re in favor of saying that Moore should be charged and made an example of if anyone does anything at all along the lines of what he’s suggesting. Are you therefore also in support of charging Trump for addressing Russia during his campaign stops and imploring them to hack Hillary for his benefit since Russia has in fact hacked Hillary?

Question 2- I’ll support such actions against Moore so long as we’re treating both sides the same. You’re in favor of saying that Moore should be charged and made an example of if anyone does anything at all along the lines of what he’s suggesting. Are you therefore also in support of charging Trump for point blank telling his supporters that if anyone comes to a Trump rally and acts disruptive his supporters should knock the crap out of them and knock the hell out of them and he’d cover the legal bills when we then in fact saw Trump supporters physically attack protesters outside a Trump rally shortly after that? Oh, and they Trump supporters referenced Trump’s words in some cases.

The result was the type of comments and replies you would expect from large groups of people who want the other side punished for such offenses, but never the person that they’re in support of or the people on their side of the political spectrum.

There was also the dedicated denial of reality that many have learned to expect from Trump supporters. I was informed for example Trump had never made any such comments or any comments even like those. It’s amazing how fast someone will block you on Facebook for posting video of something they claim was never said.

I was told by some that my question meant nothing because there was absolutely no evidence at all, not even the first shred of evidence, that Russia was at all involved with the hacking in any way, shape, or form. It could have, I was told, been done by absolutely anyone out there and there was no way to know who did it. Yes, the denial of facts and reality is strong with Trump fans.

I was even told that there was absolutely no proof of any hacking having been done at all. To be fair to the Trump supporters, that was just from one person and even the other Trump supporters told him that, yeah, there was obviously hacking because, well, Wikileaks and all.

I was told one particular thing in threads for both questions. You couldn’t hold Trump responsible for what other people did. There was this thing called “personal responsibility” and the responsibility for any such actions was on the hackers or the people who initiated violence and not Trump. I would then point out that this argument meant that Moore was not responsible for any actions by others. I was informed that it was different without any explanation as to why it actually was.

Well, that’s not true. Some did try to work an explanation in. I was informed that you couldn’t actually hold Trump responsible because even though he said what he said the activities in question had already been taking place. There had already been hacking when Trump made his request for more and more targeted hacking to benefit his campaign. There had already been violent confrontations when Trump made his comments about knocking the crap out of people.

These points were both true. The thing is, as I pointed out at the time, that argument applied to Moore as well. Moore didn’t invent the idea of disrupting the inauguration. His comments were made in reference to others and he was piggybacking on an existing movement. When Moore made his comments, there was already a movement on social media with its own hashtag, #DisruptJ20, which had been going around since shortly after the election. Moreover, by the time Moore had made his comments, one jackass in particular had started a website with the name DisruptJ20 and launched companion Facebook and Twitter accounts for it.

Various other groups had started social media pages centered on protesting Trump as well, and had on those pages suggested disrupting the inauguration. So just as they said that Trump was suggesting someone do something that was already being done, Moore said he wanted to see something done that thousands (maybe tens of thousands) of people were already saying they were actively planning to do.

Did this shield Moore from charges the way they suggested Trump should be? Of course not. It was once again one of those “That’s different!” things.

One of the goofier responses I got was from Thaddeus Dionne Alexander himself. He set about trying to educate me as to why what Moore said was fundamentally different than what Trump said. What was his rationale for how they were so drastically different?

Yes, that was the key difference. Moore announced his desire to see this happen on national television (with special emphasis made by capitalizing the ‘N’ and the ‘T’ in the words).

I’m not exactly sure how Moore saying what he said on national television is some sort of critical distinction between his act and Trump’s since Trump also said what he said on national television. Trump made his comments at campaign rallies in front of live feed cameras from news services that were carrying his words live to audiences both national and international. He never got back to me as to how Moore saying what he said on national television was such an important distinction from Trump saying what he said on national television.

By the end of my involvement in every thread, the general responses by Trump supporters boiled down to more or less exactly the same thing. People they politically disagree with should be charged and made examples of for such things, but the same action is okay if it’s their guy doing it.

These and more are the things that are largely why I and so many others can’t take so many groups and people seriously anymore.

I don’t have an issue with protests that are designed to be a visible sign of opposition or to be a voice of opposition. But that’s not what so many protests (or even some of the rallies they’re protesting) are anymore. They’re becoming outlets for mentally stunted children to act vulgar and rude in and to revel in their ability to be the fascistic censors they claim they’re opposing. They’re becoming hangouts for bored, ignorant, overgrown children in adult bodies who think screaming profanities at the top of their lungs is the same things as actually engaging their brains and coming up with an intelligent argument that might sway others to their side. Worse still, they’re becoming hangouts for idiots who don’t actually care about any cause as much as they enjoying just being a nuisance and destroying things that don’t belong to them.

If you are that or if you support that; I don’t care what you have to say or what you claim to stand for. I can’t take you or anything you say seriously, because your actions and attitudes undercut your ability to claim credibility on any subject matter. Because of your actions, many others no longer care to support you or, even worse when it actually is a good or valid cause, the very important issues that you attach your brand of stupidity to and make yourself the face of.

I don’t care about the occasional moment of accidental hypocrisy. Everyone has their lapse here and there where they don’t see their own hypocrisy on a specific issue when they first take their stand on the matter. I do have a problem with people who repeatedly take the same hypocritical stand or who will fight to be a hypocrite while denying they’re being one. That goes doubly so when the matter in question is one of freedom of speech vs censorship.

Don’t, whether you’re on the left or the right of the political spectrum, act as you do and then come crawling to others to ask for agreement or support in an argument or a fight against censorship while declaring your, quite frankly, completely fake and self-serving love of “freedom of speech” and “American values” to prop yourself up. Because, at this point, I know, they know, and pretty much everyone else knows that you don’t really care about such things, and no one can take seriously your claims that you do. I know, they know, and pretty much everyone else knows that your actually only asking for help to strengthen your side, but you’ll be more than happy to walk away and let the other side be censored and suppressed.

All you want are more voices and more bodies to fight the fights you want to fight, but flip the political sides on the exact same situation and you won’t be there for the people you’re always asking to join you. At best, you’ll be standing off on the side hemming and hawing, talking about how, well, it’s not really censorship because of such and such reasons. At worst, you’ll be supporting the censorship because it offended your political sensibilities while arguing that you’re not at all a hypocrite and this is totally different than that completely identical situation. You have no credibility, and most of what you say, even if it’s on a specific matter correct, has no value or credibility.

Now, some may be saying that even a fool can be right from time to time and to discount someone who is actually in the right by virtue of their argument on that matter because of their actions on other matters is wrong and engaging in ad hominem or even an ad hominem tu quoque fallacies. Because of that, some may be saying that my argument discounting others because of such things is fundamentally flawed and wrong. It’s not.

For those I lost when I mentioned ad hominem and ad hominem tu quoque fallacies; play the two and a half minute video. That will get you up to speed.

Now play the just over two-minute video explaining the Fallacy fallacy. Then I’ll explain why discounting if not actively shunning such people isn’t wrong.

In a perfect world, we might only look at the logical, intelligent argument being put forward on any given issue without letting matters not related to it have an impact on our decision making process. The thing is, this isn’t a perfect world. This isn’t a world where public debate is like two teams lining up with a moderator and knowing only the facts around the subject they’ll be discussing for the evening.

Rightly or wrongly, who you are and what you do outside of a specific debate topic still means something and matters for many people in how they view the sides of that debate out in the real world. Rightly or wrongly, appearances still matter to the vast majority of the people out there. When you take every opportunity you get to act like a tantrum throwing child, like a thug, like a brazen hypocrite, or like someone who will go to any lengths to condemn actions by “their side” but you will bend over backwards to excuse when “your side” does it; you’re poison to the side you’re on. You could be 100% in the right, but the second you’re identified as “that person who always does ‘X’ whenever they can” by the other side, you instantly lose the ability to sway anyone from the other side or even most of the fence sitters.

Even more than that, by acting as you do- especially in the case of the tantrum throwing, shrieking, destructive protestors –you drive away people that might otherwise be on your side in the overall debate. No one wants you around because you are the best weapon the other side has when attempting to get people to not listen to you or vote for candidates.

Plus, you can’t be taken seriously thanks to the repeated, blatant, intentional hypocrisy. It doesn’t matter if you’re absolutely in the right when you see something wrong and say you want support in the cause of fighting the censorship of ‘X’ group against ‘Y’ person. People stop wanting to help you because they all end up discovering that it’s a one-way street. You will cry, whine, call people names like fascists, and intolerant book burners, and carry on about freedom of speech and the foundations of this country all day long when it suits your political leanings. But the next time when it’s your side trying to silence someone you politically disagree with? Well, that’s when it’s not really censorship because they can always use a different outlet to speak with, people don’t understand what the 1st Amendment actually is, no one actually has the right to be heard or published, there’s nothing that protects you from the consequences of your speech, etc., etc., etc…

Everyone around you knows full well that you will be indifferent to attempts of censorship by your side if you’re not actually actively cheering it. Everyone that’s around you knows full well that for you, it’s just about what empowers or protects the voices on your side of the debate. Fewer and fewer people will heed your call even when you’re right, because fewer and fewer people are interested in supporting the cause of a selfish, hypocritical, user.

Then there are the minor things why I personally end up laughing at people these days when they put their political feelings out for public consumption.

Wasn’t the fake outrage put on display by the conservative set over the last eight years hilarious? We all knew it was little more than whining without true substance, but it’s absolutely laugh inducing seeing all the things they whined about for eight years suddenly slam to a stop as they pretend they never acted that way.

Like, remember the whining about golfing and trips when Obama was in office?

Remember how golfing by the President- especially when there was any sort of incident going on that they could label a crisis –practically made Obama unfit to even hold the office? It shouldn’t be that much of a strain on the brain to remember. It was only a few months ago that they believed this after all. Isn’t it funny how golfing by a President mysteriously stopped being a subject worthy of whining about?

Then there’s the cost of such trips. Remember the eight years of name calling that went on under Obama over his taking trips while in office? Remember conservatives calling his wife and kids things like moochers? Remember Fox News and various other conservative outlets “reporting” on the cost of trips (even when they had to lie about the costs) and talking about how such spending was just beyond the pale?

Funny how that all stopped, isn’t it? It’s almost like they never actually cared about it at all. It’s almost as if they just played it up because they thought doing so would get soft minded suckers all worked up into fits of fake conservative outrage to whine and cry about it on their social media pages.

It’s especially funny now. Watching conservative pundits get conservatives in general to whine and cry about spending for such trips back then compared to their silence now fairly substantially proves their concerns and “outrage” over such matter was always bogus. Why? Because look at just the first months of Trump’s golf trips.

Trump has already spent more taxpayer money in a few months of golf/vacation trips than Obama spent on golf/vacation trips in an entire year. At the rate he’s going, Trump will spend more on his trips in one year than Obama spent in an entire term in office. That spending doesn’t even take into account the trips his children take on the taxpayer dime or the extra costs created by his wife refusing to give up her luxury digs and solid gold toilets to live with Trump in the White House.

What makes their hypocrisy here even funnier is watching them give thumbs up to what Trump is doing with that taxpayer money. Trump is having the taxpayer spend millions on his behalf at overpriced luxury resorts. Oh, and it just happens to be resorts he owns. So Trump is out-taxpayer-money-spending Obama by leaps and bounds, and he’s actually funneling those millions into his business interests. Trump is literally having the taxpayer pay millions to him to have him stay at his own place. Yet their silence on the matter now after years of screaming and whining in fake outrage under Obama is deafening.

Remember how conservatives suddenly developed a disdain for teleprompters when Obama was in office? It was funny how teleprompters never bothered them in the least when W Bush used them, and even funnier when you consider the fact that Reagan used them more than many did and was called “The Great Communicator” by the same people whining that Obama used teleprompters.

But Obama using a teleprompter for long, fact heavy speeches made Obama some sort of an idiot according the whiners. Conservatives developed a kneejerk habit of attacking teleprompter use- even when they had to lie about a teleprompter being used by Obama -and started calling Obama things like “Dear Reader” and “The Teleprompter in Chief”. They would discount any speech as not really being or sounding Presidential, because, hey, anyone can read words off of a screen in order to sound good or smart.

Then Trump become President. Then Trump starting using teleprompters. He used them for several appearances and speeches, he used one for his State of the Union Address, and he even had to read words written for him in order to say that Bashar al-Assad of Syria was a bad person for using chemical weapons against his own people. Strangely, Trump hasn’t been belittled or insulted by the same people that couldn’t stop whining about Obama using a teleprompter. Hilariously, rather than being “Dear Reader” or “The Teleprompter in Chief” now, Trump reads off of a teleprompter and is described by the same people as Presidential sounding.

Everyone already knew the people whining and crying and gnashing their teeth over Obama using a teleprompter didn’t actually have an issue with teleprompters. Everyone already knew the people were just acting like sad, petty people full of sound and whiny, signifying nothing. Everyone already knew they’d prove it as soon as the next President with an (R) following their name came along. Just like everyone already knew that the same people would start becoming shallow whiners about other things said about their side’s President as soon as they got the chance.

Oh, and when you post a quote that’s both completely fake and insulting you take it down when it’s proven as fake. When you attack someone for something they said and spend a few hundred words belittling them, you edit your posts to reflect the fact that you’ve learned the quote is not only fake but not even in line with what the person said.

Do you know what you don’t do? You don’t declare that you’re the type of person who loves the lie you like more than you like the truth. You don’t prove that you’re the type of person who decides that a lie is perfectly okay so long as it attacks the “right people” that you dislike.

You don’t respond with lines like this.

“I stand by the interpretation of the inference on her part is on par with her misquote.”

Do you know what you say with a line like that? You tell everyone paying attention that you have no sense of integrity and that you see no value in the truth when it’s not to your liking. You tell everyone that’s paying attention that they shouldn’t really put any stock in your words and opinions, because you’ll knowingly- if not happily -promote and defend lies when the lies are the ones you like.

You tell everyone neither you and nothing you say on important matters can be taken seriously.

Oh, and for the people who want to nitpick about “protester” rather than “protestor” in my piece? See Here

Bonus bit – Five Fallacies | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

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