Once upon a time…on social media, Facebook specifically, I posted a political opinion, not profane, not a particularly unprecedented idea but a political idea that I felt was worth repeating and expanding on. The “trump trolls” (my personal and yes I know childlike name for the Trump supporters) arrived in mass and began verbally bullying, tormenting and haranguing …just like Trump himself. My responses were respectful, clear and, founded in fact, their replies to me were negative, rude and wholly disrespectful of my opinion on my own Facebook feed.
For a time, I publically defended myself but to no avail, some of them are like rabid dogs and just do not let go or give up. My solution was to just “unfriend” them. The experience was really unpleasant and I decided to just not participate negatively or politically on Facebook anymore. The anti-democratic memes and unsubstantiated theories began to increase on my feed and I realized this may have been their original objective. Perhaps that was the intent, to keep me and others from having free or opposing opinions and sharing them with others.
I began to feel a little guilty, I mean am I being fair to myself if I only allow myself to participate, hear and/or experience one side of an issue. I tiptoed back into political posts on Facebook and a whole new pack of “trump trolls” began. Again I tried to have a rational fact-based discussion, but this is not how they operate, they want to talk about the Clintons! Really…with today’s volatile policies on immigration, foreign policy, and tariffs, they still want to talk about the 2016 election.
And the lesson is: I will not withhold my opinions, they are as valid as anyone else’s. If you care to have an open, thoughtful, positive dialog (even if it differs from mine), I am anxious to post, listen and respond. However, if your purpose is only to bring up unrelated past issues, belittle and berate others that have differing points of view, I have an unfriend button and I am using it copiously.
"For What it's Worth" Buffalo Springfield