When Hillary Clinton came out with her “basket of deplorable” comment about Trump’s supporters, I was disgusted. It would seem that smart politicians might have learned at some point over the years they have been in the running for office mode that one of the things you don’t do is attack the supporters of your opponent. Attack the opponent with full force. But never go after the supporters. And Hillary did just that. Did I mention that I was disgusted?
I have some political blogs I follow. One that is very conservative — PowerLine — and several that are pretty liberal — DailyKos, Talking Points Memo, and Kevin Drum’s blog at Mother Jones. When PowerLine posted something about Hillary’s basket of deplorables, I commented that I was frustrated by her statement. It seemed remarkably stupid and I compared it to Romney’s 47% moment. And when Kevin Drum posted something about it, I commented there as well. That I thought it was stupid and it would be used against Clinton.
On both blogs, a number of people responded. Over at PowerLine, the end result was a commenter refusing to believe I am not a supporter of Clinton. No matter how many times I have commented on that blog that I will not be voting for her. To paraphrase this commenter — I know you say you will not vote for her, but I suspect that you support her. It was something like that. Meanwhile over at Kevin Drum’s corner of the internet, all sorts of liberals attacked me, including one who accused me of being a right-wing nut job. And when I told him he was wrong and cited my lifelong history of voting for Democrats, he refused to believe me.
Meanwhile, I’ve been following a WordPress blogger who regularly writes politically-motivated rants. He wrote a post about the whole Colin Kaepernick kerfluffle. The interesting thing about his post is that the original headline was a little more expansive. Basically, his position was that anybody who disagrees with Kaepernick should “sit down and shut up.” I commented there. You can see the thread for yourself. What you won’t see, however, is the final series of comments because he eventually blocked me from continuing to comment.
Which tells me this. The blogger in question isn’t interested in any kind of discussion or debate on the issues. He’s only interested in a fan club. In people who will cheer him on. Although, in the comments you won’t see, I criticized him for the original title of his post and suggested that suggesting that people who disagreed with Kaepernick should sit down and shut up pretty much made him no better than the people he was criticizing.
The point of this.
I need to step away from these things. I’m getting too frustrated. Too annoyed. Too incapable of keeping a rational mind about where all of this is headed. Go back and look at my Thinks I’m Thinking #1. Much like the Israelis and Palestinians, we are becoming a country that is divided into two. Two groups that have different histories, different narratives, different facts. And no willingness to find common ground. No willingness to bridge the divide. No, dammit, it’s my facts, my narratives, my history, and you just need to shut up if you are not 100% in line with what I think and what I believe.
It’s depressing when you stop and look at these things. All of the noise is being made, all of the discussion is being driven by absolutists. While those in the middle who just want problems addressed and opportunities for us and those we love are pushed further and further into the background.
I need to stop opening myself to this frustration. Over the last week, as I’ve read PowerLine every day, there have been posts I’ve wanted to comment on. I have gone so far as to start drafting the comment. And then I have cancelled the comment and moved on. Next step is to not read PowerLine at all. And to do the same with the liberal blogs. Where is my hermit shack when I need it?