You may have noticed that I don’t post very often about politics … and when I do, I try to keep it politics in general, not the partisan crap. That might make you think that I’m apolitical but you’d be very wrong. I am quite opinionated. But I’ve reached a place in my life where I trust my own judgement enough to be comfortable with my opinions on politics and I have no desire to discuss them with those who might try to convince me I’m wrong. And as I’m sure you know, by the time you finish typing Limbaugh … or Obama … online, some zealot will be all over you. For the record, I am a semi-retired small businessman who would like our government to be small business friendly. I am inclined to be capitalist, libertarian and fiscally conservative. I’ve mentioned before that I stay away from online message boards because I’m also inclined to post passionate responses to idiotic political posts (here, idiotic = diametrically opposed to my opinion, passionate = my opinion).
I joined Facebook for fun. I like to see what people, particularly people that are far away, are up to and I like some of the funny stuff people find to post. I can easily skip over posts like Joe likes Hormel Chili, Words with Friends, Farmville, and Joe Abegotz checked in at Bob’s House of Brussel Sprouts. With a little effort, I can overcome my evangeliphobia and bypass posts that ask me to Like if you love the Lord. But lately there are more and more politically flavored posts. I really try to leave them alone but occasionally I can’t help myself … I add a Like to one I agree with, maybe even a few words of support … or a brief statement of disagreement. That is often greeted by lengthy comments pointing out my ignorance … to which my Inner Curmudgeon suggests we Rip That Guy a New One. I try not to respond. I try to respond civilly. Try.
Thursday, a Facebook Friend, let’s call him Jon, posted this:
Jon’s post elicited a long and detailed comment from one of his Facebook Friends (call him Sonny) about how wonderfully our economic recovery is proceeding, stopping to blame what hasn’t recovered on our former president. I commented: From where I sit down here on the ground, in spite of a lot of rhetoric and promises, I don’t see anything as better. After four years, it’s time to stop saying what about Bush and start saying what about Obama. It’s time for another change. Sonny graciously provided me with a long and detailed explanation filled with statistics, pointing out my logical errors and of course, I had to respond … total freakin’ waste of time that serves no purpose but raising my blood pressure. Quite often it’s the comments by the Friends of my Facebook Friends that get me into trouble.
I got bit by that little peculiarity again yesterday. Another Friend, let’s call her Angie, posted about a protest going on near her home in Anaheim, CA, where the protesters were shouting about burning a flag. One of her Friends, let’s call him Herman, then posted this: Hopefully it was the American flag, I can’t think of anything more symbolic of oppression and injustice! My blood boiled and all morning, but I tried to resist commenting. In the end, resistance was futile. In my comment, I pointed out that I have friends in other countries that can’t even use Facebook, suggesting that in those countries, Herman’s comment could land him in jail. I concluded with, Herman, are you as clueless as you sound? That set off a firestorm of comments defending poor Herman, who, it turns out was being sarcastic. And who, it turns out, is the nephew of my friend, Angie. Very embarrassing.
There have been quite a few cleaning up my Friends list posts on Facebook lately, asking if I still want to be Friends. Just for the record, I ignore them. And I’m not going to ask any of my Friends, either. But I have decided to hide the consistent political posters on my own page. You don’t get to answer yes or no. It’s for my own protection.