Lately I’ve been seeing blow ups not only in all my groups on facebook, but on my private email lists, blow ups between people who granted have bloody nothing in common beyond opposing socialism.
This is perhaps to be expected. I mean we’re living through the crazy years, the mania for eating dirt spreads to the South East, the “serious” discussion in Sci fi is “Should you even acknowledge gender”, we’re financing Iran’s quest for a bomb, Donald Trump tops (a minor, but much publicized) poll for president (with 17%) cats and dogs sleeping together. The end of the world.
As I’ve said before I can judge the general mood of the nation by how fricking crazy the drivers are on the road. And right now they’re pretty crazy. And just as at other points of high tension, arguments and screaming are breaking out over the stupidest things.
I hate it because right now I’m not feeling up to this kind of nuttiness. Perhaps it’s envy I can’t join in the fights, who knows? Right now berserking would about kill me.
BUT what struck me is what is the difference between genuine argument and argument by “I’m offended” which quickly devolves to mud slinging and name calling?
I mean, free speech and all, so we certainly need to know, right?
What I’m seeing to a great extent in mostly conservative-libertarian corners is people snapping over points of disagreement they SHOULD have known were there. But they’re snapping because they feel attacked from all sides, even nominally their own.
This is silly. Discussion is important otherwise we become like the SJWs. It is also human.
So maybe we should lay down some rules for “disagreements with people who are roughly going the same way we are.”
1- It is important to remember you are a broad coalition with many aims. Some of you are almost as opposed to each other as to the people on the left. It is important to remember that’s fine. Once we take the left’s corrupt and murderous hand from the tiller, you can feel free to fight with each other. Until then, if you love the constitution, you’re going our way. LEARN strategy.
2 – So you’re in this forum and someone made a joke/comment/etc. part of which offended you. Consider DO YOU NEED TO COMMENT? Is this issue so fargin important that you just HAVE to start an argument? Remember you know our coalition is broad and not homogeneous.
3- If you HAVE to speak up, be as specific about the instance of disagreement as possible (it’s that important, right?) and present proof. Arguments might still develop over what you consider proof, but it is less likely to go toxic.
4- If you don’t have to speak up in public, but still feel offended, pm the offender, or just say “I’m hurt.” in private.
5- REMEMBER YOU DON’T have the right to NOT be offended. I am friends who people who offend me at least once a month. I have friends who believe things I find deeply offensive. I understand why they’re coming from, why they believe that, and why taking offense is counterproductive: I’m not going to change their minds. So I avoid the subject and talk of other things. And we’re still friends. And largely speaking we’re “going the same way.”
6- When someone raises a hue and cry and you vaguely agree with them, don’t immediately jump in on their side. See if they violated one of the rules above, and if they did, well, ignore the mess till it passes. If they didn’t, run it through the checklist yourself to see if you need to jump in. “Is this something I need to be public on? Is this something that’s going to change anyone’s mind? Is this just going to create bad feelings to no purpose?”
This is not aimed at anyone or any group or list in particular, but I’m tired of seeing pointless arguments flare up everywhere.
Being offended is a great tactic for the left, because they command positions of power and can “group shame” on an epic scale.
For us all it can do is tear us apart and allow those who would divide and conquer us to do just that.
Don’t fall into this habit. Beware agent provocateurs.
In the end we win they lose, but we can’t just react without thought.