When Democrats act like right wing trolls

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rant alert

I'm trying my best to follow Doctor's orders, I really am. I'm staying away from the computer for a good part of the day, I write 90% fewer posts than I used to, and when I do write, I concentrate on more upbeat news stories.

However.

For months-- no, make that years-- it's been impossible to escape from the tea party style, trolly behavior of many so-called "Democrats" on Twitter, in TPC Comments, and on Facebook. And yes, many of these people are really, truly left leaning, not conservatives in blue sheep's clothing.

Let's start with this old chestnut: Over the years, I've been called an "EmoProg," which is supposed to be some kind of terrible, poison dart insult, the ultimate slur that can be hurled at you by a fellow Dem. My pal over at FreakOutNation, @Anomaly100, and I have mocked this lunacy by calling our selves MEmos ( adding "me" to "emo" to fake-narcisstically own our apparent evil EmoProgitude).

I've never been quite sure what EmoProg means, but per Urban Dictionary, in part:

Emo Progressive (or "emoprog") is a self-described liberal or progressive, often with libertarian leanings, whose political orientation is to be angry, dissatisfied and unhappy with the state of the nation at any given time, because in their view, liberal policies are not being implemented quickly or forcefully enough. They have particular contempt for Democratic presidents.

Emoprogs are ideological purists who disdain compromise and incremental change, which they see as "selling out" liberal ideas like full employment, an end to all wars, state secrets, and liberal social policy...

Emoprogs have a strong affinity for 3rd party politics as a way to punish Democratic presidents. They are especially hostile to President Obama and deem anyone who expresses a lack of ill will toward him to be "Obamabots" and enemies of liberalism.

I've also been called an "Obamabot," which as you can see is the opposite of an EmoProg, so go figure. That's how utterly inane and infantile these labels are. They're also destructive, damaging to party unity, toxic, and resolve nothing. In fact, for those who claim to be so "inclusive," this kind of name-calling is sure a funny way of displaying their "tolerance" of others.

There can be disagreement within a party without resorting to this kind of immaturity. We share the same goals, ultimately, so zinging hostile labels at political allies, alienating them instead of working together whenever possible, is at best self-defeating.

Next, and I'm putting this in all caps because I want to scream this loudly, and a few words on a page won't suffice:

PLEASE STOP USING THE WORD "RETARD" AND STOP USING "TARD" AS A SUFFIX.

Again, so-called "inclusive" Dems using that word as a slur is utterly counterproductive, very offensive, and plain stupid. Or ignorant. Or both. Even readers/followers I adore use it. Most stop when I explain what I'm about to write next:

I worked with special ed students for years when I taught high school theater classes. I challenge anyone who uses the R Word or suffix to look any of those dear, innocent kids in the eye and say that directly to them or within earshot of them, and then not feel like a total ass as they see the hurt and bewilderment on the sweet faces that stare back.

Are "liberal" vocabularies so limited that no other words are accessible? Words that don't sting? Words that don't devalue people with real feelings who matter and take things to heart just as you and I do? Really?

And finally, there's this: Yesterday I had a very pleasant Twitter exchange with a *gasp!* Republican TV and print commentator who shall remain nameless. In fact, I have a few far right followers who I get along with, but who I never ever discuss politics with. Our conversations are strictly goofy or personal or about movies, TV, dogs, vacations, that kind of thing. But not politics. Our mutual heads would explode if we did that.

In fact, I detest their politics at worst, and strongly disagree with them at best. But we get along, and one extremely conservative pundit in particular was the very first to "be there" for me (privately in Direct Messages) when my dad first became ill and then supported me all the way through to my father's death. I value that in a person, no matter what their beliefs or politics.

After my quippy back and forth with Mr. GOP Commentator, a follower (who I am happy to say I never followed back) called me "self-righteous" and "muted" me because I dared to engage someone who he (and I) vehemently disagreed with about the Affordable Care Act.

Call me EmoProg-- or is it Obamabot?-- but I am able to compartmentalize and remain friendly with people who are kind to me, who enjoy tweet talk now and then, who have a sense of humor, and who give me no reason to block them. If I eventually find them to be offensive or distasteful, I unfollow or block, that is my choice.

But come on, "Dems" or "liberals" or "Progressives" or "Obama supporters" or whoever you are, grow up. Throwing insults out of the blue, initiating convos only to be rude because I occasionally chat with someone whose point of view we both find objectionable is not exactly true to our Big D Democratic values.

In fact, it's more tea party than it is Dem. And that kind of behavior is intolerable.

words matter

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