Setting a Baseline

America is scared. All of us.

Fear fueled the entire election. Terror of losing America to Islamic influence and Mexican hombres (bad ones) or panic at the thought of an unhinged septuagenarian becoming the authoritarian puppet of a strongman ex-KGB agent. But that was then and this is now.

We’re here, we’re full of fear. Get used to it.

That said, there are appropriate ways to cope with that fear. I’m not interested in telling you what you should do to deal with it, we all do that in our own way. Me? I watch Star Trek: Deep Space Nine while I paint Dungeons and Dragons models in a nightly activity that can only be described as an egregious affront at any attempt to appear like I could have gotten laid in high school. That probably won’t work for you. I wouldn’t expect it to. Whatever you do to take your mind away from the existential crisis our nation is facing is yours. Do flower arrangement, watch all of How I Met Your Mother in a month, modify NERF guns to look like alternate history energy pistols, make paella. Don’t let anybody take that from you. You need it.

It is not appropriate; however, to lash out. I’m surprised I have to say this, but it’s not okay to threaten a population with violence. Any population. IT’s not okay to make sure that people who disagree with you know that you hate them with such vim and vigor that this thought, this compulsion to cause harm is what is gives you that umph to wake up in the morning. That is not only unhealthy, but probably just not cool, bruh.

In short, don’t do this:

Your neighbor could be the source of writhing unbearable evil. Please don’t kill them.

You might be saying “well, that’s not normal.” You would be correct. That, sir or madam, is not normal. And it should remain not normal. Do not take that as normal. Did I just spend three paragraphs trying to normalize your absolute disgust and horror and the atrocities that have befallen our once great nation? Yes, absolutely, that’s probably what we have to live with now. But we don’t have to let that fear control us. It shouldn’t be something that will make you be as vile as our friend up in screenshot up there.

And when we see one of our fellow Americans succumb to this sort of terror we have to do something. Nobody should have their day, let alone their week directed by their fear of anything. So how do we deal with this?

Do Not:

Engage them online. If you were so scared of your political opponents that you say something vile, say like your wanted to start a war or eradicate them, you will not be convinced by those very people you’re afraid of smothering your personal Facebook page with outrage and disgust. That’s only going to make your butthole clench. Don’t make people’s butthole clench.

This guy loves it when liberals tell him he’s wrong when he’s sitting him his home trying to play Clash of Clans.

Argue with them IRL. This is not productive. All this is going to do is provoke a fight, and hopefully it isn’t physical. Let’s be honest, if you’re reading this, you are probably not going to win a fight anyway. You’re getting advice from the DS9 guy. There are better ways.

Do:

Talk to them in person. If you can do this, you are likely going to be someone that they care about. Make sure that they realize that you’re a good person that happens to disagree with them. Don’t bring up the actual topics, just if it comes up, make sure they realize that you are a human, too, and don’t deserve eradication. Odds are, you haven’t even done any of the horrible things they’re mad about! Good for you! Stay tolerable, America.

Report violent behavior. If somebody posts something like this

Whoa, let’s take it down a notch. How about “begrudgingly and silently buy your cigarettes from them in the streets.”

This is bad. This is beyond “not okay.” This is inciting violence. Depending on where you are and what is said, this could actually be illegal. Report it to whatever platform you’re on and make sure that it’s addressed because this? This is fucking dangerous. Keep in mind, IANAL (heh).

Hopefully, this guide helped you realize that you really should be watching Deep Space Nine. It’s a really, really good show, guys. Also, don’t get your head smashed in by someone who’s so afraid of change that they voted an unhinged septuagenarian oligarch into power under the promise of false sense of security. Or, I dunno, a hippie.

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