Every now and then on Twitter, I get a notification of an impending "Twitter bomb." That means that at a specified time, as many people as possible organize to tweet a certain hashtag (#) so that a message will be sent out in large numbers, simultaneously, get a lot of attention, and hopefully trend.
Last night I got word that
#WhyRepublicansNeedToGo would be the hashtag du jour. I decided to jump in for the heck of it and posted a couple of tweets like (if I remember correctly): " #WhyRepublicansNeedToGo Two words: Eric Cantor. Two more: Paul Ryan" and " #WhyRepublicansNeedToGo Gay rights, civil rights, women's rights, voting rights, and that's just for starters."
I mentioned nothing about Rand Paul (who delivered the ninth longest filibuster in U.S. history), other than to retweet breaking news updates. I didn't say whether I agreed or disagreed with him or with the speaking filibuster or with his efforts to block John Brennan's confirmation. I offered no opinion one way or the other.
However, had anyone bothered to ask, which nobody did, I would have said that I support a speaking filibuster (and oppose incessant GOP obstruction), I am not thrilled with Brennan, I am against the use of drones to target Americans, I am for major oversight of the use of drones by any president, I am for due process, getting a fair trial in a U.S. (civilian) court of law, and against assassinating Americans and denying them the option to give themselves up.
That said, I got an onslaught of trolls, all of them Rand Paul devotees, sending inane, nasty, baiting, and/or stupid tweets last night shortly after Twitter Bomb Thirty.
I'm sharing a few of them with you because 1) I've been meaning to do expose you to some of the extreme comments I get for awhile now to show you what many of us deal with on a daily basis, and 2) to point out the mentality of most of the tweets I get from Republicans and Libertarians. They always initiate these direct "conversations," I never do.
What concerns me is not so much the infantile nature of the tweets, because that's easy enough to ignore, but that so many people (or perhaps bots, accounts created solely for this purpose) have such hostility, anger, misinformation, ignorance, and feel the necessity to repeatedly direct it at those with whom they disagree. Even after I inform trolls that they are being blocked, they continue to obliviously tweet me as if I can see their tweets (there are ways to see them, which is how I know they do this).
Their irrationality and rage infects nearly every tweet.
Republicans, be careful what and whom you rile up, incite, and embrace. As the Southern Poverty Law Center is warning, this is fast becoming another Oklahoma City bombing waiting to happen:
Below are a few samples of what I was bombarded with last night. Notably, a recurring theme is that, after they enter my stream with intentionally provocative tweets and/or misinformation and I choose to block, they default to phony outrage. They get huffy and whiny over being deprived of their First Amendment rights, which of course, pertain to government censorship, not Twitter's option to block tweets:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Welcome to my world:
@CreepySteveEnt (Bio: "game dev hobbyist"):
Keep drinking the blue Kool-aid. If this was a Democrat in 2006, your panties would have been wet.
if you were a dude, I'd have replaced that last part about with "jerking off." Not everything that references sex is sexist
but, I guess its easier to just yell "sexist" than try to understand why people think you are an idiot.
Not every mention of skin color is racist. Not every reference to vaginas is sexist. Get over yourself
u r fucking braindamaged. "You'd be jerking off about a Democrat doing the same in 2006" wouldn't be called sexist
But, because I was referencing a girl... Completely different. Typical liberal victim syndrome.
People don't say mean things 2 u because of ur sex. They say mean things 2 u because you have your head up ur ass.
I didn't know that I lacked rights as a woman. Are you referring to little women in the womb? (I remember commenting about how developed the fetus must be if she's referring to it as a little woman)
Another liberal that hates free speech if it means having a different opinion: @GottaLaff who blocks people she's too ignorant to debate.
@JustinYoung30 (who apparently thinks teachers are worthy of disdain): @GottaLaff no shit you're not a republican. That's your problem. I'm gonna guess you're a teacher or leaching the system @goodolick (3 followers, and please note the spelling of "you're" from the account who called me stupid.):
@GottaLaff your a special kind of stupid aren't you?
#WhyRepublicansNeedToGo Whoever created this ignorant hashtag is on food stamps. @KicheMalko (Bio: hard and raw with no regard for the law): @GottaLaff "civil rights" like letting illegal immigrants live have welfare and food stamps? "voting rights" like let illegals vote? @GottaLaff i dont know how im being rude but i think you need to be a little more educated on something called the constitution (I believe I reminded Malko that civil rights are indeed constitutional and that nobody has ever suggested that anyone should be allowed to vote illegally.)
What is the cause of all their anger? Why do they feel so afraid? Is it our African American president? Is it that whites are becoming a minority? Is it that they have an unhealthy reliance on firearms and solving problems with violence, so they feel common sense gun safety measures are a threat? Is it the "civil war" within their own party that makes them uneasy? They're feeling powerless, so they have to dominate in inappropriate and dangerous ways?
Whatever it is, it is not good for this country, and they need to start listening more, agree to disagree, grow up, read and become aware of facts instead of relying solely on sources like Fox for their talking points, educate themselves, research, become more willing to hear opposing views, try using some civility, empathize, and realize we're all in this together.