Do Not Engage – Jason Cordova
Sometimes people just need to come with a “Do Not Engage” tattoo plastered large upon their foreheads. People I once liked.
I, for one, dislike the trolls. I enjoy the people who can actually make an argument (coherently and without the use of the words “racist”, “cismale” and “Republitard” because I am only one of those) and form complete and understandable sentences. I cherish these people, for they are not the enemy, no. They are merely rivals, and rivals can be respected. Rivals can be friendly(ish). Hell, rivals can even be welcome (though they’re still not getting some of my Brownies of Doom. I’m not that nice).
But those people are too far and few in between these days. Divide and conquer was Napoleon’s turn of phrase, and politicians, ad writers, producers, network executives, idiots in general have all taken this phrase and used it against their rivals, who in turn use the same techniques back and turn rivals into enemies. Because it’s easier to shout at people than it is to discuss issues.
I watched the election results come in. I watched as the folks on MSNBC had a collective meltdown as the election results turned out far different than they had envisioned it. I watched as Rachel Maddow pretty much lost her sh*t on public television. And quite frankly, I felt bad for them, because somewhere along the line, they had transformed the opponent from “rival” to “enemy” in their minds, and the resulting emotional and psychological breakdown on TV became painful to watch. Okay, I gloated a bit. But still… their reactions were just mindboggling.
For example, let’s look at Mia Love, the newly-elected Representative from Utah. After she was declared the winner, a lot of racist comments were thrown out there. People attacked her because of who she is and her skin color, and pretty much showed just how ugly they really were. They called her things like “race traitor” and was subjected to personal attacks that left even me shaking my head in disgust (and everyone knows that I have a pretty high bar for things that are disgusting). The attacks came from members of the Democratic Party, the so-called party of equality, who continue to claim to be the party of minorities and the oppressed. These people, who were once merely rivals who we could have constructive conversations with, have changed.
These are people who should be reveling at the chance to have an opponent worthy of discussion and argument, and yet… the best they can do is race taunt, something that I thought was something that only “ignorant white people who vote Republican” did. Apparently, I was very wrong.
Somehow rivals turned to enemies, and have been branded (in my eyes) as individuals who shalt not be engaged. Not because I discourage discourse, far from it (oh… crap. I’m getting poetic. Sorry). No, it’s because a lot of people simply don’t want the psychological and emotional commitment to pounding on people who are the enemy because in the end, all you’re doing is feeding the trolls.
Even when you’re “winning” the argument, you’re losing, because the troll is like the pit of Sarlacc and will constantly feed upon every single argument you toss out there and come back for more. All the while, your former rival has turned into an enemy, and is a mere step away from becoming a troll.
That sucks, because they were once a regular human being. I miss that guy.