On my way back from picking up a vehicle from an oil change yesterday, I had a call from a political operative. The subject of their call was that they were not happy over the tone of the comments that “their side” had been receiving on the web site.
They thought that some of the attacks being fostered were untrue, got overly personal, and were a bit unfair. And that if they didn’t stop, they were going to have trouble holding their people back from responding in kind, and then people would be going at it constantly under my comment section.
It was one of those situations where I was left with the thought – “Well, what am I supposed to do with that?”
Yes, it’s in the comment section, but you’re seeing it in general society as well. Just turn on the news, or even worse, just look at Facebook. If I could guarantee civility, I’d do it on my Facebook first, so the worst I’d have to look at are funny cat videos, and not have to wade through some of the other crap.
It used to be mainly a back and forth between political parties, but the occasional sniping that broke out at political primary time seems to be expanding to all year with Republicans in general, and from people you might not expect.
I offered to my caller that if someone was posting things that were blatantly false and people were out-and-out lying, (i.e. Candidate Bob was arrested for an unnatural act with a horse) to let me know immediately, and I would be happy to remove the comments. That’s been long standing policy, as I certainly have no time for nor any interest in being subpoenaed when someone wants to sue a commenter.
But when it comes to expressions of opinion (i.e. I don’t think Candidate Bob is a straight shooter because he did A, he employs B, or whatever C ), then you’re getting into different territory. It’s a little tougher being the arbiter of feelings, as in making a determination as to what’s hurtful, and what is not. It’s not a college ‘safe space’ for goodness sake. Feelings aren’t going to change because a comment appears or doesn’t.
What my caller was wishing for was more civility. Not an unreasonable wish, but probably an impossible demand. And you know, if I could guarantee that, I’d bottle it, and be a millionaire. Especially in recent times. People are crabby.
While I can’t guarantee it, I think what I can do is to make a nice ask of our fellow Republicans for more civility towards each other, especially when we’re so far out from the primary season. It’s probably a Pollyanish wish, but we are fighting for largely the same things.
Debate? Discuss, Disagree? Absolutely! But save your ire for the Democrats, not each other.
The Republican Party is starting off the year with a theme of renewal and a renaissance of the GOP grassroots. What we should be focusing on is helping the new chairman build the party in preparation for having the strongest organization possible in preparation for the 2018 elections, where we’ll be picking a lot of new officeholders, including a new Governor and a new Congressperson.
We need to be working together to defeat the opposition. And that starts with making a commitment to focus on the GOP first & cheer for your candidate second. Sign up to help. You can drop the new chairman a note here, and let him know that you’re ready to go to work.
“The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally – not a 20 percent traitor.” – Ronald Reagan