Is social media an enemy of America? No. Some sites are just against certain segments of Americans.
Those of us who recognize injustice, seek a fairer America, and have no compunction about calling out the malefactors undermining our nation, sit dead-center between social media’s crosshairs. On the other hand, if a correspondent belongs to those chunks of our populace promoting their “victimhood” when in truth they are vile perpetrators or supporters of such, social media will show the sort of favoritism the clear-sighted will see as contortions.
Right-wingers and reactionaries complain faithfully about reputable media’s biases. Somehow, these purveyors of rancid calumnies believe being viewed then reported upon objectively skews their projections. No. Not at all. Regarding them clearly reveals their reprehensibility.
That last is what displeases them. Being seen for who they are.
Fortunately for the nation’s myriad brown and black shirts, social media is sweet on American-style fascism. Just casually perusing the web across the last decade or so illustrates how it’s willingly leaned right.
While the Bush II Administration’s not quite excellent misadventures in the Levant and Afghanistan prompted generally anguished yet earnest discourse across the spectrum, Barack Obama’s arrival behind the world’s most important desk incited the sort of racial virulence sizable percentages of Americans fooled themselves into believing nearly vanquished. What could’ve been farther from the truth?
Obama and the truly hateful discourse he attracted merely demonstrated that unique strain of pure Americanism had simply been dormant. When Obama’s successor Donald Trump barged in to start soiling the Oval Office, even the most banal ignoramus neck-deep in the right-wing’s trough of falsehoods and exaggerations knew even lip service to any civility needn’t longer be obeyed.
One mustn’t imagine how loosening and discarding those shackles probably made them all feel the same gratitude of the slaves once freed by Union troops as they marched throughout Dixie. Without a doubt this the sole time most of the short-fingered vulgarian’s supporters felt honest kinship with any non-Anglo. Or as some of the vile pig’s most fervid Bund buddies might’ve admitted in his/her one honest moment, “We never had anything else in common with those people.”
Where social media could’ve kneecapped such abject divisiveness, it instead facilitated.
Citing its “community standards” dictates as alibi and fig leaf, prominent social media sites weigh and judge subjectively. All too often egregiously and blatantly erroneously.
Ronald Reagan emboldened pernicious conservatism. Fully blaming the Gipper, right-wing organizations didn’t just stumble from the nation’s darkest recesses. The ancient B-actor had engraved invitations delivered that coaxed them into the sunlight. Again roaming in the open, they started exploiting wider, “respectable,” currency through barking head radio and inflammatory television commentary badly disguised as being “news.”
Other than the language, Joseph Goebbels would recognize and appreciate the update and receptivity of messages similar from his Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Same level of mental corrosion, too. Außer auf Englisch, nicht Deutsch.
Across the last four decades, right-wingers have steadily lost all reluctance to voice and act upon impulses which may disunify the nation. Throughout the 1960s and 70s into the 80s, these United States made impressive strides toward extending the promises of the Constitution to groups previously excluded and disenfranchised.
Right-wingers hated that. Good.
Put it like this, if you weren’t an Anglo male, and the “right kind” at that, consider yourself included among the aforementioned. You were outside and they covered the windows so you couldn’t even peep in.
These new inclusions, these opportunities for the formerly marginalized to sit at the table and contribute, infuriated those who’d enjoyed the monopoly. The homogeneity. Their resentment at having to share with people they’d barely noticed before – or had even needed to – stirred the sort of bitterness that fuels revenge fantasies.
And isn’t this what today enrages the right wing? Now being forced among all these “strangers,” or as we know ourselves, fellow Americans, it’s an accommodation they feel that imposes on them. Over the decades, encouraged by powers that be from above, courted by the baldest commercial interests, few have wasted time and maximized effort to discourage inclusivity.
Despise their backwardness, these malcontents have every right to make their dissent known. It’s good to hear them unfettered, unfiltered. It allows us to know where they stand. That’s an advantage. Openly and uninhibited as they speak, it permits us to respond. In my case, certainly with a vehemence equal to or surpassing what’s been spewed.
I’ve always believed if you can’t take it, don’t give any. At least because my tat will be harder than your tit. As it should be.
Reprehensible as social media has been, it’s also set another misery upon the land. Bad as right-wingers are, matching their rabid belligerence with pouting petulance are the inheritors of America’s tomorrow.
This era’s generation of sulking 20-somethings just isn’t ready. They’ve been ill-prepared. While this age group is far more diverse, possess greater empathy as well as are technologically superior than my cohort of Boomers at the same age, they’re deficient in what can be called acknowledging “the real world.”
Throughout their lives they’ve been so coddled, so insulated, so protected, that any contention, any opposition, they regard as existential threats. Which figures because throughout their squeezeably soft lives residents of this nursery have been shielded from malice. Much less menace.
Higher academe showcases the greatest difference between the our past, the present we share, and future to be bequeathed. Let me set this on college campuses because these institutions incubate what will become intellect.
Not sorry about that all you Thoreau addicts.
In the late 70s-early 80s when I pursued a sheepskin, the now deep-rooted anti-establishment conservatism skewing America today sat in its nascent stages. No one then could imagine the day when hardcore conservatives like Barry Goldwater and William Buckley would be transfigured into nearly middle-of-the-road moderates, shoved leftwards by repetitious haranguers who incessantly shovel invented grievances upon already resentful audiences. And if that doesn’t work, the First Amendment abusers just scream louder.
Goldwater and Buckley, especially Buckley, were erudite. Each figure built his position carefully and often mortared these with American history references. The verbal projectiles hurled by either eminence often infuriated. Nonetheless listening to English sculpted, or if preferred, perverted, whet tongues and sharpened contrary minds for the challenge of replying.
Yes. A good deal of what Goldwater and Buckley espoused offended. But never was silencing each man’s mic or shouting him down ever considered.
Instead, clearer-sighted, clearer-headed adults responded in kind.
When the evangelical circuit riders and burgeoning baskets of deplorables washed up in Tucson to hector us dope-smoking, promiscuous, freedom-loving Arizona students on the Mall about how our attitudes and practices endangered our hereafters or roads towards tolerance would lead to America’s decline, yes, there were catcalls from not very receptive listeners. Accustomed to that, the speakers walked through them with elan.
Must give credit where credit is due.
What got them double-clutching and hesitating were pointed rebuttals. Nothing buckles the smug rote recitals of the self-avowed elect than heathens and “radicals” coolly presenting solid counter-inquisition. Particularly when the lash is backed by passion and facts.
Less and less of this verbal volleying is occurring in our current public discourse. As seen by the measures being taken by more and more campus administrations and radicalized against free speech student bodies, the back-and-forth of debate is increasingly becoming one-way streets. The inheritors of America are progressively enfeebled defending themselves in conversation while incapable of sustaining convincing assertive stances.
Like the Latin and ancient Greek formerly taught in high schools, debate in America may soon join those two disciplines in extinction.
Instead, today’s common go-to’s are sanctions and silencing. The favorite measures of totalitarian regimes on the right and left everywhere. Both are frequently applied on social media.
Indeed, when some novice male adult picks a fight above his weight – and generally it’s always some whiny guy, women seemingly have better aptitude for language; women will stand in and slug it out – then has his rhetoric rightly backhanded into next week, the ponce has a snit. Rather than improve his game, he’ll figuratively run crying to the site’s moderator. There, he’ll complain of indignity. Of being offended. Of being insulted.
Okay. Big difference between insult and offense. The former intends to injure. The latter is a matter of taste. Or lack thereof.
Naturally America’s successors can’t differentiate.
Since the site’s guardians of “standards” sit in the same age bowl as the bawling complainants, they also lack the clarity to have seen or heard the contention as it was meant. They’re predisposed to sympathize with a contemporary, a deficient male also wearing a man bun and skinny jeans.