When Democrats act like right wing trolls

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare
  • Richard Goldman

    Yikes - When you have TWO of something, as in political parties, it's not all that illogical to compare and contrast - sorry I dared to be so bold as to do so - I have been on the left side of my party since I was young and was one of the eleven americans (or so) who voted for mcgovern - I have spent my entire adult life watching the powers that be in the democratic party worry about how they will be perceived by those folks in the middle - I watched in horror as they let Ronnie & Bush senior walk away from the egregious deeds of Iran-Contra - (selling tow missiles to terrorists to support an illegal war) - but if we had asked for the ronald to be impeached...we would have been "laughed out of town." When the supreme court illegally stopped the florida recount and installed their own president we didn't call it a "coup" (which it was) because we would have been "laughed out of town" - after 8 years of torture and two insanely evil wars, based on known lies - with thousands dead - but when the time came to call them on it... we didn't because... we didn't want to get... (all in unison now) "laughed out of town." Oops! I forgot Ohio in 2004 - although sadly only about 5 republican folks actually went to jail for hijacking that election - but the dems again did not make a peep because... i think you know where this is going... our party seems doomed to never be able to speak it's mind or stand up for it's own values because it is too worried about being laughed out of town. Barack Obama is an amazing human... I am very glad he is our president... but the very things that made him great at getting elected made him a bit weak when dealing with the folks who do not wish him well - like any great man he is making those adjustments and is in fact getting better at it - but please... by eschewing "single payer" (clearly he didn't want to get laughed out of town) and giving us this weird (republican) hybrid health care system he set himself up for trouble - by referring to Bush as a "criminal" I know we are of similar minds... but you know what... in 2007 if someone told you that in 08 the dems would run a black man for president against an american war hero (5 years in a freakin' hole?) - I'm afraid you would've laughed them out of town... maybe sometimes it actually pays to do stuff that might get you uh... laughed out of uh town.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Better read that again, "George," because I never referred to any of that as a "friendship." You did. Here's how I described it: " I am able to compartmentalize and remain friendly with people who are kind to me... If I eventually find them to be offensive or distasteful, I unfollow or block, that is my choice."

    That's a far cry from being "friends" with someone who I vehemently disagree with. That's called being civil or having occasional friendly convos, and calling it quits when I feel someone has crossed a line.

    "But have it your way."

    And thank you comparing me to those "hypocritical congresspeople" you mentioned. It's exactly this kind of needless name-calling that creates more, not less, hostility and inability to communicate constructively with people you disagree with.

    Remember Ted Kennedy? Remember his relationships with those he opposed and what he was able to accomplish? What a hypocrite! And that crazy Pres. Obama, daring to reach out and play golf with Republicans! And invite them to watch movies and football games at the White House! What a two-faced politician he is!

    You also seem to assume that I am "friends" with bigots and racists. That's quite a leap. And quite an insult.

    "But have it your way."

    Tell you what. You go right ahead and shun kindness and overtures when you are distraught over your dad's death. Go ahead and refuse to share a laugh or a friendly moment with someone you don't much care for politically, and I'll continue to engage people who aren't just like me.

    I like my world better.

    "But have it your way."

  • GeorgeGral

    I am not sure why you would only have a non political engagement with Republicans and call that a friendship but have it your way. I believe that when you hear congresspeople refer to the other side that has derided them and called them names "my friend on the other side of the isle" as hypocritical as it gets. I believe you should call it what it is. These are NOT your friends on the other side of the isle. These are people that are totally opposed to everything you stand for and if they had their druthers they would destroy everything you stand for and in that process also destroy you. So let's get real here. Most of these people are bigots and racists and often religious nuts that are able to justify their venom with either God or Nationalism or some such ridiculous thing.

  • GeorgeGral

    Why would we want to compare our destructiveness to the lunatic fringe? Explain again?

    It is ridiculous that we undermine the efforts of our president by attacking him because he is not moving fast enough or left enough for out tastes. I feel your pain however I do not agree with undermining his efforts. You and I get to bitch and moan. He has to deal with the reality that he is hated for the color of his skin and because he is an educated and well spoken literary president who is following an at best mediocre one and at worst a criminal. He also has to deal with a congress on whose whims the passage of any and all bills depend. If he tried to do what we all wish and go far left and try to pass anything of that sort he would be laughed out of town.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    You are very welcome. I've had it with ignorance (willful and otherwise) and nastiness.

  • BonniefromChi

    Agreed, Francis. I am also mom of a special needs daughter, and have often wondered when it became acceptable for people who consider themselves extremely conscious about the circumstances and suffering of others, to so carelessly use a derogatory word like "tard". Maybe because they are a group that has no way to defend themselves, so it continues.
    Thanks for speaking up about it, GottaLaff.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Deal!

  • KathleenCat

    I like to hope people will learn. Some will.

    When I was newer to twitter, I did and said a lot of things I'd never do or say there now. I am socially awkward and so when I am new somewhere I will interact with pretty much anyone who seems to give me positive attention. I like to hope that some of the people who behave badly will learn. Some are entertaining, but it turns out it does get old after a while.
    Unfortunately, one of the things I have learned over time is that some people never do learn a damn thing.

  • KathleenCat

    It's sad to know that years after I volunteered with special ed kids as a teen, adults will still insult children to their faces. Sad, but not all that surprising.

  • Lisa Todd Sutton

    Well, were just going to have to save up that wine time and have party when that nasty ol'e liver is feeling better. :-)

  • Fred Watkins

    I can't even imagine the tweets you must get I only have 800 followers who I vet first.
    On FB I only have 16.LOL! the rest I 86ed, anyone that was a hateriot, which were numerous, even family.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    I wish! No wine for me for at least a month due to my newest medical issue... liver function is off. But will have a good TG, and you too! HUGS.

  • Lisa Todd Sutton

    Me too! You and your family have beautiful Thanksgiving, Lots of wine time! xoxoxox

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    +1

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    I don't remember that specifically, but it mirrors what I've been through perfectly. I'm just glad we've remained friends for so long and gotten through this together. xoxoxo

  • http://FreakoutNation.com/ Anomaly 100

    We were looking for you Threemo.

  • Richard Goldman

    The libs to the left of obama... (that would be almost all of us) are not nearly as destructive as the far right has been to the republican party -

  • Lisa Todd Sutton

    Laffy, Maybe you remember when I first started with twitter, I made friends with a notoriously crazy repub. I got so many twts "how could you be friends with him" , some even unfollowed. However, we did not talk about politics. Underneath he was a nice guy with crazy views, and when I had 2 repubs goons attack me, (I was really frightened, they were talking about my address etc)., It was this so called crazy repub, my friend, who got them off my back, and I never was harassed again by them. Truth is twitter is public, we, many times don't know who we are talking to and people lose their inhibitions. Dems included. I've been told, that people who I thought were friends, were making fun of me because of some typo's I made. Sometimes its hard not to take personally. but you have to.None of us escape these things on twtr or FB. Like in real life, you know who your friends are. Be Well. xoxoxo

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    There you be, Threemo!! Hi!

  • Frances R

    Well said! I despise word-retard. Have 2 children with autism & they have been called that & other ignorant things by adults. We of like mind should not stoop to level of tea party. We can disagree without being obnoxious.

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    I agree, which is why I don't discuss politics with anyone on the right if I can help it.

  • Richard Goldman

    I used to be able to discuss issues with republicans, but since obama became president that has become utterly impossible - there has been a bizarre racial backlash that may not be fully understood till we get some history behind us. I used to enjoy a give and take but that can no longer be done. But when one can no longer agree on facts it's impossible to discuss what they mean.

  • http://FreakoutNation.com/ Anomaly 100

    THREEMERZ! Come on down!

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Why I oughta too! Threeeeemo! Where iz you?

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Love you to death Tommy! Thank you so much!

  • http://FreakoutNation.com/ Anomaly 100

    Where is she? Why I oughta....

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    Weemos! Including Threemos! (@Francie57 to the uninitiated)

  • Tommy6860

    Well said Laffy! I even may disagree with some of the things you've brought up in the past, nothing to really ever to be made into a discussion, more just thoughts. But, like you, I am in this same boat and I am also a very liberal thinker; "thinker" being the key word. One must damn well be ready to use serious introspection to their own politics before casting the insidious remarks at those who would mostly side with their political views and even their social mores. As liberals, we expect more conscience efforts to put thought into our politics and comments, something not many GOPers do well if any at all. By the way, I do miss your your posts, but Laffy has to come first for Laffy! And I also love you too; Happy Thanksgiving for giving us your Laffy moments too :D

  • http://FreakoutNation.com/ Anomaly 100

    Weemos!

  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    You too Memo!

  • http://FreakoutNation.com/ Anomaly 100

    Tell 'm Memo!