Stand Up, Filibuster, and Learn Nothing

Since being blocked by a fellow Medium Member, who’s name sounds rather like N. Sovi, or S. Blowme, and who uses as her profile icon the image of the animated character Daria, (I’m assuming in order to reinforce the fact that you bore her and she hates you), I’ve been carrying around a certain amount of anger, on top of all the other items of irritation one tends to accumulate by the end of a year. I responded to her article with perfectly resonable criticisms laced with just a touch of high-snark (but that’s the game, isn’t it?) only to have my comments deleted within minutes, followed by a brand new article about an hour later called, roughly (I can’t give overly lengthy or precise quotes since I’ve been blocked), Extremist Bernie Sanders Supporters Backlash when you write the Truth, which was obviously in response to my comments, which must have hit a nerve. I feel compelled to air my side of the story, because she was able to create not just a straw man, but an invisible straw man out of me, airing both her arguments and her characterization of my comments, but not my actual comments, thus denying her audience a chance to decide whether there was any merit to my commentary.

Keep in mind that the very last line of her article implores everyone to work together, but only after they’ve learned “how things work”.

I was commenting largely on the tone of the article, which I think is encapsulated quite nicely in its title, which is nearly (but not quite) “Bernie Bros, Bots, and Crats: Sit Down, Shut Up, and Learn Something.” The article is loaded with trite pieces of condescension, including the “big boy” and “big girl” news that politics is “not a high school popularity contest.” Ready to learn yet?

The snippet of text that I included with my comment was about how “the kids” – her way of characterizing liberals who couldn’t in good conscience have voted for Hillary – should stay at “the kid’s table.” I wrote:

This is why there needs to be more than two parties. That way the Hillary types can be as condescending as they like towards everybody else, without the bizarre expectation that the people they’ve insulted are going to show up and vote for their contemptible hack of a candidate on Election Day.

This insult-them-until-they-come-around didn’t work in 2016, so it’s odd that it seems like it’s still the strategy going forward.

What Happened: The Sequel – in bookstores 2020

Okay, so maybe the book won’t actually hit the shelves until 2021.

Then, although it probably wasn’t necessary but I guess I wasn’t feeling done yet:

I also loved how everyone who voted for Trump is in a cult, all of Sander’s supporters are in a cult, and they’re all politically “extreme.” It’s like she imagines that she’s hunkered down, with other like minded people, on an island amidst a swirling storm of cultists and extremists. It must be tough.

There’s nothing in my comments that indicate I’m a Sanders supporter. Nevertheless, the article that she fired off shortly afterwords (aside from trying to claim that she was not making generalizations about everyone she disagrees with but only referring to people with “extreme” politics – read both articles and decide for yourself it that is clear/true at all) is all about how Sanders supporters’ knee-jerk responses to “the truth” that she’s written prove all of her criticisms of them. You would think, then, that she would allow their comments to remain as powerful evidence in support of her thesis, but she doesn’t do this. In fact, it is not merely my comments that have been disappeared; there are virtually no comments which challenge her article, and this goes for all of her articles. The only comments remaining are the ones that she saw fit to applaud herself.

Medium gives us the total number of comments made about an article, so if you tally up the comments that are actually visible and present and then subtract the number you get from the number of comments Medium states were written, you can find out how many comments were deleted. As of this writing, the first article, the one about sitting down and shutting up, is said (by Medium) to have 112 comments. 25 comments remain, with 23 comments applauded by the author herself. So I guess that’s 87 comments disappeared, all of which supposedly prove the author’s point.

The second article, the one about how people just can’t handle the truth, indicates that 23 comments were written. However, 11 remain, and 9 of them have received her applause. One of them is from a very polite dissenter, and the other one is of her, correcting him. For this generous allowance of debate, I suppose she must get a bit of credit. We’ll see how long his comment stays up, especially if he offers a counter-rebuttal.

My main point was that there seems to be a confusion of objectives, one that I noticed during the election run-up, by some of the Clinton supporters regarding their handling of the Sanders supporters:

Objective a) denigrate them; Objective b) persuade them to vote for Hillary.

Both objectives take different roads and wind up in mutually unsupportable places. Since the Hillary people seem to think that they have a monopoly on political sophistication, spending big money on perception management, you’d think they would be interested in understanding the actual effects their words have on other humans, but no; they would prefer to Stand Up, Filibuster, and Learn Nothing.