A number of months ago I decided to delve as deeply into the world of Twitter as I possibly could. The reasons for me deciding to do this are many and not really germane to the subject matter of this post. Thus far it has been generally successful. For reasons of my own I’ve decided to build a conservative following and to that end I’m gaining a lot of followers. I generally lean—well, way, way, way over to the right—being mostly Libertarian/conservative. So it comes natural to me to be able to collect a lot of those types of people. I can genuinely and sincerely speak the proper lingo and express the requisite beliefs to be accepted by the crowd on the right.
Now, no small part of the reason that I prefer the right is that they are more generally accepting of ideas and conversation than the left. They are most generally more tolerant than their leftist counterparts who would shout you down and/or block you at the first sign that you are not going to walk in perfect lock step with them.
While I’m kind of new at Twitter I’ve become very adept at surviving political discussions on Facebook. Ahhh, the many hours I’ve spent just trying to piss liberals off and get them to block me. When I find the really rabid ones I like to see how quickly I can get it to happen. I’m not certain what my record is exactly because it happened much quicker than I thought it would. I do know that it was less than twelve seconds.
On the flip side, I try to never block people. To date I think I've only blocked five times and I remember the details of each and every one of them. Maybe it’s just my experience at taking insults in the Navy, or life in general, but I like the idea of free speech. My skin is really quite thick although my critics would likely say my head is thicker. My only limits are that I don’t like it when someone attacks someone else’s religion who is involved in the conversation. I will not tolerate someone attacking my religion on my pages. I will not tolerate personal threats or threats and insults towards innocents such as the person’s family, and I won’t tolerate a person who is harassing in a spamming sort of way and making it so nobody else can have a conversation. Other than that the sky is the limit.
I’ve got a pretty high tolerance for personal insults, and to some degree actually like them in a debate, because they are usually the most obvious sign that I'm winning. If they can’t address the point they have to make it personal and attack you.
If someone happens to be a different religion I don’t mind. As a veteran I swore to defend their right to a different religion with my life and I prefer to be good for my promises. I never get insulted because someone believes something different than me. I get curious.
If someone supports Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or anybody else, whether it’s someone I could support or not, that’s okay. If they can talk to me and keep a civil tongue I will talk to them in a civil manner. That’s how we learn. That’s also how we beat the Main Stream Media. If they don’t want to be civil, well, I can do that too. Generally it’s not my favorite thing to do but I can, in so choosing, take someone right apart.
Generally speaking, if you call yourself a conservative or a Libertarian, and we agree on—oh I don’t know, let’s say seventy percent or more—I would call you an ally. You are someone who is sane enough to work with. But even if we disagree on nothing, I wouldn’t call you an enemy. You’re still someone to talk to. Then when others come along maybe they’ll be inspired one way or the other by the conversation.
So having the above ideas in mind you can imagine my disconcertion at having Twitter users, who claim to be conservative, who I’ve read down several pages of their feed, block me from following them for the slightest disagreement. Man some of these people are sensitive! Of course I fully expect liberals to block me. But conservatives? Some even say in their profile that they will block people who don't support the same candidate.
You don’t support Trump? Blocked! You do support Trump? Blocked! You don’t support Cruz? Blocked! You do support Cruz? Blocked! You don’t support term limits? Blocked! You don’t like Lincoln? Blocked! You’re not a Christian? Blocked! You don’t think there’s a Muslim waiting behind every corner to behead you? YOU’RE A PUSSY! Blocked!
Yes, that last one really did happen. I only pointed out that you are statistically more likely to die of a bee sting than a terrorist attack. It’s a fact. I never said I'm for terrorism or anything like it. I never said that terrorism wasn’t a threat because clearly it is. I never said that we shouldn't fight terrorism. I only said that I don’t live and worry every single second of every single day that someone wants to burn me alive, behead me or some such thing.
There is a simple fact of life that I’m always pointing out to people. “Just because we don’t agree on everything does not mean that I endorse what you conceive to be its opposite.”
The unfortunate thing is that people get themselves worked up into an emotional state. Emotions are a great thing to experience when there is reason behind them. We don’t need to go all logical and become like Spock all the time. Laugh if there is reason to laugh. Cry if there is reason to cry. Get angry if there is reason to get angry. But when emotions take the place above reason, you are in what I call the “reaction zone.” You don’t think. You react emotionally.
So, if I don’t support Trump and you do, please don’t go off all half-cocked and say that I must hate America for not supporting your guy. If I make a reasoned argument against term limits (as Alexander Hamilton and other Founding Fathers did) please don’t call me a Pelosi supporter. If I say I don’t like Lincoln please don’t do the liberal thing and say that I must hate black people and support slavery. Don’t react. Just ask me why. I’d be more than happy to tell you. I may have actual reasons for what I believe that would be helpful to you which aren't based on some radically conceived extreme opposite.
If those who support smaller government and more personal liberties want to win their righteous fight for the survival of America as she was founded, we’ve got to have the strength to stick together and support each other on the big things. Our freedoms are completely dependent on our abilities to have and discuss other ideas. It is antithetical to the concept of freedom to expect people to agree on everything, and yes, that does include supporting a different candidate for president that you might not agree with. That’s what makes us more tolerant than the left.
If, however, you can’t handle the fact that I don’t support the same guy as you, if you can’t be big enough, or have spine enough, to tolerate the thought that I’ve got a different idea on some subject here or there, then…
JUST GO AHEAD AND BLOCK ME YA BIG BABY!!!