Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Reason Why I Hate the Blogosphere #37593

Read Ezra Klein's post on Palin's RNC-financed $120,000 wardrobe. Then read the comments thread.

Now read Matt Welch's compilation of angry comments/e-mails that he received after insisting, in the L.A. Times, that, despite all of McCain's many faults, lack of war heroism is not among them.

This was my take on Kleins's commenters:

There are two assumptions that seem to commonly appear in this thread (and on this blog, in general):

1) Everyone who expresses a differing opinion than the one expressed on this blog is a troll.

A troll is someone who deliberately tries to anger people, just for "lulz," or who spews ad hominem attacks or "copies and pastes" a whole bunch of quotes. . You may disagree with some commenters on this thread. However, you will never find the "our shared political views only" thread that you so desire. Listen to people's arguments. Some people have posted silly insults, but others have made reasonable claims as to why Palin shouldn't be condemned, in this particular instance. You are welcome to disagree. That doesn't necessarily mean that those with whom you disagree are trolls.

2) If you defend a person at all, relating to any particular issue, this means you support that person and/or his or her candidacy.

People seem to assume that anyone who defends Palin, in this case, are voting for the McCain-Palin ticket, or that such people had their money "wasted by the RNC." This is a very inaccurate assumption- I neither voted for McCainin either the primary or general elections (I vote absentee), nor did I send the RNC any money. Although we can't completely eliminate our own biases, we should at least attempt to evaluate every contention on its merits, rather than falling back on "if it's the guy on my team that does it, it must be right," as well as the contra-positive. Again, feel welcome to criticize Palin. But when criticism or praise can be predictably determined before the information is presented, that is a sign you have stopped using your minds.

An unacceptable response is, "Well the Right does it, too." Of course many people on the Right do it. As do many on the Left. There is no excuse for sacrificing rational thought, even in the name of political parity.

This was my response to the Matt Welch post:

I say, a pox on both their houses.
This is why, despite my interest in politics, I cherish my days in a non-political job [ok, well, school, really] talking to normal people, who don't start acting like robotic missiles automatically set to deploy whenever a criticism/compliment (no matter the veracity of the statement) is registered, regarding some pre-determined Saviour/Satan.

I recognize that both of the above examples describe instances of deranged Obamaites. They have plenty of McCainite counterparts (and I'm not just talking about the handful of cosummate crazies at the rallies, who appear in those circulating YouTube videos). But they will have to wait for "Reason Why I Hate the Blogosphere #57928." Right now, reading through such people's posts in the name of "research," makes my next lecture to study, "Ventilatory Muscle Function and Neural Control of Ventilation," suddenly seem very, very appealing.

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