The Sunday Edition: Extremism One Week Later.

j_annoyedj_annoyed Writing is how I deal with things. When I was in Jr.High this meant a hundred or so stories on both a keyboard and a notepad. This has culminated in a more than passingly active imagination and a couple dozen of pretty decent D&D campaigns (if I do say so myself). The writing still happens, and I still dabble in both fiction and D&D campaigns… but now I write more about the world around me. I’m not so arrogant as to assume that my perspective is right or worth knowing. Well, maybe it is, I really don’t know. But it helps me to look at the world around me and from time to time make a comment. It’s my own form of therapy and for the last several years it’s worked pretty good for me.

And this is one of those times where I need that therapy.

I Finished a great weekend of filming with Ulfast, BigGunNumberOne, and Bary and sent BGNO home before relaxing around the house. Had a good lunch, looked over the view stats on what we posted to Facebook and Twitter, and started catching up on some news…

Which is when I found this.

[WARNING: This content is hard to watch]

If you didn’t watch it, that’s a — maybe — 8 year old kid being kicked out of his house because his mother found out that during the class election, he voted for Donald Trump.

I watched this video and it absolutely wrecked me. I couldn’t function. I was on the verge of tears the whole day. I was supposed to see “Arrival” with Ulfast and record a podcast but… I just didn’t have it in me to be funny. I just moped around the house trying, and failing, to get my mind off it. But it wasn’t the video that wrecked me — though it was and will forever be a horrific nightmare — it was the comments on the particular Facebook page I was viewing the video on.

People were supporting this woman. And yes, I know trolls are a thing… but there were far too many comments and likes on comments for it to be a troll problem. People were standing with this woman.

Now, there were people who were denouncing this woman. There was a concerted effort to help track her down and identify her to the police

And one person who commented this said “That is not thanks to Hillary’s ******g campaign.”

Isn’t it though?

I mean obviously Hillary didn’t call this woman up “Hi there. Listen your son’s 3rd grade teacher got a hold of me and… well you need to take care of this.” This video exists and there are people justifying it because of extremism; exactly what I was talking about the other day. In this era of extremism this woman — and before she took her Facebook down and disappeared in light of a child endangerment investigation, her Facebook feed suggested she was a kind and loving mother — felt that doxing her kid (as I am most certain she let him back in the house) seemed like the most appropriate step. Let me say that again.

She decided that an 8 year old needed to share her political views.

The kid is 8 YEARS OLD. Yes it is good that we are teaching kids to understand the democratic process, but COME. THE. ****. ON. The kid is at the most 10. His primary concerns should be comic books, riding bikes, and what his marshmallow record is for Fuzzy Bunny.

But here we are, and I am going to make a bold proposition that many will hate me for; We created this.

Someone I know (and to be perfectly honest I don’t know how I know them) posted this article. It’s from a comic book writer whom I adore and that I didn’t actually know was a Lesbian. It was an open letter to the people who voted Trump, but still professed to love her. She says

“Trump voters want to assure me they are not homophobic, nor racist, despite voting for homophobic and racist platforms. (Or throwing their chance to help away by not showing up or doing a protest vote.)…

…At the very least you allowed me to be hurt by someone else while you condoned that abuse with a “yes” vote. You gave it your stamp of approval and now you are telling me my pain doesn’t exist.”

This woman seems like she is legitimately scared, and I’m sorry for that. While I do know there are a lot of stories about people lying about assaults, I know there are still true accounts and I have no doubt that she has been accosted. But this black and white thinking is exactly what I am talking about.

People have surmised this article — accurately I think — with a quote from an Australian Lieutenant General by the name of David Morrison “The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept.” The General, at the time, was dealing with a pretty horrific problem where females under his command were being assaulted and he had discovered that many of the officers underneath him knew. And that is a sentiment I’d like to see more kids grow up with… but there’s a few things here:

 

1) Yes racists supported Donald Trump, but that doesn’t make everyone who supported him a racist. When you are presented with two candidates and told to choose, you have to prioritize what matters to you, and for many people their priorities lined up with Trumps. Do they agree with all his priorities i.e. sexual assault and his views on Muslims and illegal immigrants? Probably not, but that’s not their primary focus and I’m sorry, but you can’t force people to pick your primary focus, and even if you could… Keep in mind that HRC spearheaded a smear campaign against several women who banded together to accuse Bill Clinton of sexual assault and — if not complicit herself — hired someone who was complicit in working with her staff to rig the primary election in her favor.So does that mean that everyone who voted for Hillary supports sexual assault and election fraud?

 

2) We are failing to allow other people to disagree with us, and that’s dangerous for them and ourselves. I have had no fewer than 8 friends block me on Facebook because I expressed that shouting “Anyone who supported Trump hates everyone who isn’t white and straight and I am deleting you!” on Facebook was extremist, bigoted, and adding to the problems that got us here. And that’s a big issue. Facebook is life now. This isn’t curating your news feed, this is actively choosing to tighten your circle to the point of being an echo chamber where only people who agree with you are allowed near you. And here’s why that’s a problem:By holding to this extremism you are creating a situation where people have nowhere else to go. And because everyone is doing this we are isolating both sides of things thus creating an opposition. But this isn’t the British House of Commons where there’s a two drink minimum and someone tells someone to “**** off” before going out for lunch together. No this is an opposition were we people feel we have to hate the other side.

People on both sides of these are beating the ever loving **** out of each other. I watched a video the other day where an old-ish white guy has the crap kicked out of him by a couple of people and is then robbed all the while the camera woman screams “Get him he voted Trump!” I watched another video of a crowd that started to beat the crap out of a guy because they thought he said “I voted Trump” when he really said “I voted Bernie”.

Because we are isolating ourselves and in turn others we are creating hate for what is an artificial view of the other side. Why is it artificial? Because we’re not actually talking to the other side about what they think, we are talking to ourselves about how hateful the other side must be because of “blank”.

 

3) Our unwillingness to listen without a desire to respond is creating a larger problem. Any time a person complains about job growth being stagnant in the US, someone invariable cites the fact that the US Economy has actually grown under Obama’s care since he took office. And almost invariably someone is accused of being a racist. While this stat is absolutely true, it’s not universally true. It’s not true all over the country. It’s true in certain regions but there are plenty of people who lost their jobs, or their homes, or their businesses when the economy crashed that still haven’t gotten them back. Or they’ve been forced to move to take a lower paying job somewhere a thousand miles from where they called home. But be honest… When you saw someone on your news feed complain about the economy, you just posted that meme and debated calling them a racist — if you didn’t just outright say it.

 

The result is the guy who stood up and said what they wanted to hear on a variety of subjects got the vote because the left was too busy calling everyone else “a basket of deplorables” (Hillary’s description of ‘half’ of Trump supporters.) to actually listen to the other side. You can’t talk to an isolated group. So who do we have left? The media.

A lot of people have blamed the media for Trump’s election. And it’s true to an extent, though I think our forcing a diametric view of things is the greater malady, but it’s not true for the reasons you think. The media, realizing that Trump was becoming a legitimate concern began orchestrating attacks. The problem is millions upon millions of people attended his rallies and heard the speeches. So when you make the video above and say “See! See!”

The people who were there go “… Wait…”

There was a Now This video of Trump at a speech shortly after the Orlando shooting that basically spelled out “Huge racist, right here.”

The problem is… that’s not really what was happening. I would explain but the author of the video did a fine job of it:

 

While yes, Trump’s facts were based on an initial and poorly done report, that didn’t matter. People instead called him racist, created a video out of context, and then they got caught. How likely are the people who experienced this deception to listen to what someone has to say at that point?

Extremism isolated the conversation. Extremism tainted what should have been an honest picture of a man who had no business being president. Extremism prompted millions of people to be scared to reveal their vote to pollsters and create the biggest electoral upset in recent history.

Extremism.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *