Thursday, December 08, 2016

Dear Facebook....

Hello one and all - this is my New Year's resolution.  It's rather involved - mostly for myself so I can lay down some rules and stick to them - but the upshot is that politics and I are done forever on Facebook.


My family and friends - you may have noticed my radio silence since election day; Facebook has been so full of anger and fear that I figured it was best just to stay out of everything.   But now even as folks are cooling off I don't feel compelled to jump back into the fray anytime soon.  I am still through and through a political junkie, and read and watch everything I can about what's going on in the world - but this place, which used to be a forum for expressing what I think about current events, has worn out it's usefulness for that as far as I'm concerned.  Too much anger, too much bitterness, and it simply isn't worth it.

Furthermore, it has taken me a long time to recognize what many of you knew from the beginning - that people we care about and even love very often have a very different world views, and this is absolutely okay and we really have no business foisting politically charged opinions and news articles on each other for two reasons -   1) Nothing we say or share is going to change each other's opinions or overall political bent.   And 2) the golden rule very much applies here.  No one wants to hear that the guy or gal they voted for is a bum.  I have finally realized it's time to start treating others the way I want to be treated.  I don't want to hear about how great Bernie Sanders is, and I know you don't want to hear about how great General Mad Dog Mattis is.

Those of you who do post political stuff, I will never un-friend you, and I will likely not un-follow you (unless you are a crazy 5 political post a day kind of person, and yes I've unfollowed a few of those over the years) but I will hide most political posts I strongly disagree with and then select 'hide all' from whatever source you are sharing.  I already have hidden everything from Huffpo, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, and other various left leaning news sources.   I simply don't need my blood pressure tested any more, I hope you'll understand.

If you post something reasonable, either liberal or conservative, I will definitely read and enjoy - but I will not be commenting whatsoever beyond a simple 'like', and even then I will refrain if it is anywhere near a hot button issue (yes, that would be Trump, abortion, guns, etc.)

So Facebook, I bid you farewell and so long forever on posting anything besides family stuff, work stuff and anything that has the same or less meaning than a silly cat video.

If you know anyone who has de-friended me on Facebook, especially any of my good friends or family members (and there are a few of them out there) it would be great if you could let them know about my resolution and also let them know that I bear no ill will to anyone who chose to free themselves from my political rants and would love to reconnect with them on the internets.

And as for the small but hearty bunch of you who have not only endured but actually enjoyed my political posits, I do regret that our rather enjoyable exchanges must end here.  I must say I am grateful to all of you who hung with me and gave as good as you got and never let it get personal.  Nick and Nick, Eric and others, you guys are a credit to your political stripe and give me hope that voices of reason still exist on the left. (Yes, that was my final passive aggressive parting shot for politics on Facebook!)

If any of you find yourself in need of a Chris-fix you can always come here, and I'm sure this place will become a lot more active now that I have no political outlet on Facebook  - Right now just below, there is a particularly tasty post about Trump.  Good times for those of you who are into that sort of thing.

ADDENDUM for the blog:

I don't want anyone to mistake my withdrawal from politics on Facebook as an indication of surrender or succumbing to the monstrous double standard that exists regarding discourse in our country.  I am well aware that if you are liberal, you can basically say whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want - and there will almost certainly be ZERO repercussions from anyone.  Conservatives are generally far too polite and secure in their own opinions that they don't typically go after someone's character when they express a liberal view; whereas if it's a conservative that dares to opine - watch out.

We conservatives have to walk a very narrow path of righteousness and we are held to the strictest standards of decorum whenever we work up the courage to voice our views.  If in doing so we ever dare to employ a weapon of the left - an ad hominem attack, a straw man, or any kind of personal jibe no matter how innocuous - swift and severe condemnation will arrive almost instantly from the left and even from the right.   Conservatives have to be the grown ups and follow the rules, always.  If we don't, we are racist extremists.  Liberals can dally with every weapon in the box. Personal insults?  Sure, why not.  Hypocritical racist and anti-woman statements?  Absolutely, if it's in service of the greater good.  If you're a liberal - use whatever means necessary to get your point across, because feelings.

I am very well aware of this fundamental truth in America, especially on the internet.  But I am at peace with it.  I literally guffawed when Hilary Clinton (or was it Michelle Obama) said "When they go low, we go high".  Is that right lady?  Is that how you are seeing things.  Ok.

I am at peace with this double standard, I am okay with liberal hypocrisy - because I know in general, on most political issues, the right is right.  Logic typically trumps emotion, facts on the whole outweigh hyperbole and knee-jerk assumptions.  The left is at a severe disadvantage on most of their core issues - it seems only fair that they are allotted the gift of free reign to shit all over anyone who emerges as a voice of reason; it's really the only defense they have.

So knowing this will never change, or at least not change as long as liberals think that the government should be our mommy and daddy, I am happy to let go of my sense of justice when it comes to the rules of the game.  The left will always be given the edge on tactics, because their big guns shrivel up when compared to the guns on the right.  For a long time, I fought the good fight on Facebook because my intuitive perception of fair play, borne out by hundreds of hours as a baseball umpire, prevented me from letting things go.

I now know better.  All the logic in the world will never prevent liberals from calling me a bigot.  My fight against this has been righteous, but on whole it has been a waste of time.  This tiger isn't changing it's stripes and I am best served by understanding and accepting this.

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