Just Another Day

"Any idiot can handle a crisis, it's day to day living that wears you out." - Chekhov

Saturday, February 12, 2005

What I’ve learned from (pa)trolling the past few months

America is going to have serious partisan problems for a long, long time.

Either the right wing is going to have to produce absolutely concrete evidence that liberals, i.e., in general, not a few extreme examples, are anti-American and want to soak the rich and give to the poor. We liberals already have our ducks lined up and they are visible for all who are willing to listen to the truth. Our ducks are your leaders who have tried to hoodwink the American people by shouting loudest, hypocritically, about things like abortion, religion, pornography, and sundry other moral issues. At the same time, they pass out cash (through tax breaks, anti-regulatory measures, tort reform, etc.) to the rich so they pay less and less of their fair share to a system that has provided them with immense wealth and the security that they can go to sleep peacefully knowing their money will be there in the morning.

In any event, one of the sides to the debate needs to have a de-nazification program similar to what was done with the Germans at the end of WWII to show them the horrors they supported in the name of god and country. Only then will we be able to find normalcy again. So far, the facts are clearly against the right wing which is why they want to hold on to power at any cost. If there ever are investigations of the actions of their leaders, it will be too painful for too many…however, it is a needed process.

Arguing with right wingers, while fun because it reinforces one’s ego that there are plenty of idiots in the world and in knowing you are not among them, is a frustrating experience because it can’t be done logically. They seem to have some playbook which states, “No matter how right your opponent is, denigrate their propositions but you don’t need to support your denigrations. Just do it and leave it at that. If that fails, state that their grammar is a mess and, therefore, what they state is not comprehensible. The beauty of the first two steps is that, even though they are correct and much more intelligent than us, they will always be able to find flaws in something they say because they are so nuanced. So, no need to support your statements, just state it and they’ll go on their goose chase. If they stick around, or if they state they can’t find fault with what they say, then simply call them names such as ‘traitor, anti-American, Frenchie, foreigner, spineless liberal, etc.’ It makes no sense to do this but it will frustrate them into giving up the fight. Then, we can continue living in our fantasy that whatever we do is right and whatever our leaders say is the way it must be.”

My advice is to engage them as much as your patience holds and as long as you have some time to kill. Keep pointing out the hypocrisy of the right, keep presenting the facts. Once the discussion descends into name calling, in general, i.e., not just one or two idiots, go ahead and get out of it. This is oftentimes much sooner than you’d wish but perhaps it will plant a seed of doubt so the re-education will be less painful for them. It's already started with some conservative commentators pointing out their disappointment in the GOP Congress consistently rolling over for a GOP administration instead of doing their job of holding them accountable and checking their power. Other conservatives have correctly pointed out how much Bush is running the White House in a Stalinist fashion and has created a dangerous Cult of Personality around himself.

We'll get there. Just keep at it.