I Got Banned From Daily Kos and You Won’t Believe Why
Author of "Politiquette: The People's Guide to Political Discourse in the New Millennium." BA International Relations…medium.com
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I joined Daily Kos to get the word out about my favorite candidate, Bernie Sanders, a man who I (among a growing number of Americans)believe has the consistency and integrity to get our nation back on track. But it only took one diary post on Hillary to get me banned — forever.
I clicked submit after hours researching and typing up my first diary on Hillary, “The Tragedy of Hillary Rodham Clinton.” I was proud of my work and looking forward to the discussion that was sure to ensue; instead, it only took minutes for the attacks and slurs to begin. The best way to describe the tone is “toxic,” and yes, I was shocked. I didn’t expect the backlash from a liberal blog; I expected some depth and debate, yes; I welcomed it. But the personal attacks were unwarranted.
I was fair in my assessment, pointed out Hillary’s many accomplishments, her enviable stature in American realpolitik, her incredible climb to the heights of power. But I had to stay true to myself and point out what I believe, is the problem behind her candidacy: the corporate influence and questionable history of her career.
I responded to as many comments as I could, until I was abruptly blocked from commenting; the Daily Kos admin had me “on hold” until April 9th; I had posted on the 2nd. I tried to avoid scrolling the comments, but I couldn’t help it. A few hours later, I’d gotten a few thousand shares on Facebook, and a few hundred more comments, some of them supporting my work and thanking me for my candor.
Today I decided to check up on the article to see if my hold had lifted; the article had gotten 6,382 shares. I had hundreds more positive comments. Although I still couldn’t answer back, I was grateful that the message had gotten out there; obviously, there were many liberals who, like me, felt that we could do better, that we deserved it.
My article was coming up on Twitter, including a meme that was created quoting my article; it was going viral. I felt justified, but more importantly, relieved to see other Democrats who felt that it was time for options, that it was time to question the status quo, that it was acceptable to do so without making anyone any less liberal if they did.
Then a friend tagged me on a Daily Kos article written about — ME! The author, using a pseudonym (I always used my true name), accused me of being a “Republican Operative,” and sited my LinkedIn profile — replete with screen shots of my resume — as “proof.” I found this not only revolting, but slightly amusing.
You see, I’ve never hidden my career history; I’m proud of my resume, because it has allowed me to acquire first-hand experience of politics on all sides of the aisle. My experience validates me, and it proves only one thing — that I know of what I speak. Yes I switched parties — so did Hillary, Ronald Reagan, and Elizabeth Warren. It’s normal for thinking, reflective people to change their minds as they grow and change. However, the Daily Kos author, “Kalmouth,” concluded that my work history was all the evidence they needed to slander me.
I immediately researched and typed up another article, eager to submit it in order to put the discussion to rest and to reaffirm why this feminist was feeling the Bern, why I volunteer for Bernie and why I financially support his campaign; instead, I found out I was banned from Daily Kos for good.
The diary remains on Daily Kos, and continues to grow in popularity on social media (over 7,500 shares to date). I, however, was never given the opportunity to answer anyone’s questions or to address anyone’s concerns. I was never given a fair shot. Which is beyond disappointing, because at the end of the day, shouldn’t we be working together to ensure a successful election, one in which we can feel assured that the winner will have our best interests in mind?
How can we expect our representatives to listen to us, when we’re so unwilling to listen to each other?
And that’s my story. I hope it helps close the chasm between American voters. I hope it inspires others to listen carefully before writing each other off. No man is an island, and we’re going to need all hands on deck this election.