Candidates and Trolls

troll1I love the internet.   I make use of it extensively in my vocation, engineering, and my avocation, writing.   I have several blogs, a Facebook account with a page for my blog, Oldereyes, and a Twitter account (OK, I do absolutely nothing with that but it sounds good).  I play games on the internet, communicate with faraway friends via email, and use it as my primary source of news.  But I don’t love everything about the internet.   I don’t like the way young people seem to substitute online experience for real life.  I don’t like the way the click-driven culture causes material to be posted just to create controversy.   The amount of inaccurate information on the internet … and the number of people who believe anything they read there … make me crazy.   But what bothers me most is the emergence of Trolls, people who stalk the message boards and comment pages posting vitriolic, bigoted and crude commentary on just about anything.   Much of it is political, over the top liberal-conservative name calling but some of it goes beyond the bounds of a civilized society.  It didn’t worry me, though, because I tended to think of it as harmless … I regarded Trolls as pathetic recluses hiding in the anonymity of the internet.  Now I’m worried.  Why?  Things like this:

I love the old days, you know? You know what I hate? There’s a guy totally disruptive, throwing punches, we’re not allowed punch back anymore. … I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell ya.

We now have a presidential candidate who is behaving like a Troll.  Worse, he seems to betroll bringing other Trolls out from behind their keyboards and iPhones and making them acceptable.  As a conservative on many issues, I probably understand what is motivating the Troll bandwagon more than many.   I have been frustrated with what I consider anti-business sentiment in the current administration.   I am frustrated in wish-it-were-s0 diplomacy coupled with a weakening of our defenses.  I, too, am tired of the threats of adolescent Korean dictators and Iranian mullahs being met with conciliation.  But responding in kind … as Candidate Troll tends to do … makes us no better than them.  Which we are, by the way.   And as a moderate to liberal on social issues, it is clear to me that Candidate Troll regularly exploits the prejudices of the populace to get nominated.  If it were just a ploy to swing votes, it wouldn’t scare me but as this reality-show campaign has gone on I’ve decided that what we are seeing is what we would get if Candidate Troll was elected … an angry, bigoted old white guy set on bringing his reality-show reality to the United States by whatever means possible.   That is not a the United States I love.

I don’t know how much credence to put in the articles that are starting to pop up, likening Candidate Troll’s campaign to the rise of fascism in the past.  I can certainly see parallels to the rise of fascism in Europe but at this point saying Candidate Troll is a Hitler or Mussolini is the sort of political theatrics I hate.**  Still, he scares me.  A while back, in a similar post, Really, America, I said if the election came down to Trump vs. Sanders, I wouldn’t vote.  That is no longer true …  I would swallow hard and vote for Sanders.  I can perhaps dismiss Candidate Troll as an ugly aberration brought on by conservatives desperate for a champion … but a President Troll would be a disaster in so many ways.  That’s what I think.  Please think about it … read about it … talk about it.  This is our country we’re talking about, not a reality show.

** Excellent reading pro and con:

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6 Comments on “Candidates and Trolls”

  1. I thought this was very humerus and a good way to keep the reader engaged. Would you mind checking out my new blog and giving it some support?

  2. jenihill Says:

    Early on in the beginning of the campaign for the Republican nomination, someone posted an article that compared Trump’s methods and his commentary to events that took place back in the 1930’s in Germany as Hitler rose to power. I saw a lot of things in that piece that sure did sound very much like the tactics employed by Hitler and the Nazi party back then. I still see those same things still being utilitzed by “The Donald” in his speeches and like you, Bud, he frightens me. Immensely! He most definitely is a narcissist! A person with an ego much, much larger than anyone should ever have! So many words, sentences, etc., that he has put forth that are disgusting -virtually promoting racism, sexism, among other no-no’s in todays society. And even when called out on things he’s said -promoting violence and hatred among blacks, hispanics, muslims, etc., and then flat out denying he had said or done that never ceases to amaze me especially when his supporters drone on and on about how he speaks his mind and utters the truth! Excuse me? What truth? Only his “truth” which in the overall picture are nothing but lies, lies, lies and then more lies!

    Thankfully, I am in a relatively nice mood tonight as evidenced in that I didn’t use any of my pretty normal cuss words!

  3. cherperz Says:

    I totally agree with your comments, Bud. In the beginning of this campaign when everyone said Donald was just a flash in the pan and wouldn’t be getting very far thanks to his inflated ego and big mouth…I was worried. I think Americans are so desperate for change, angry at how previous administrations have handled things and quick to believe every slanted, biased pseudo-news article released, they are jumping on band wagons that aren’t worthy of climbing onto. I, too see the correlation how the Internet has played into creating hype and controversy. It seems that people are confused between what is reality and what is “reality TV”.

    The whole thing has me extremely nervous. As I, too am moderate to liberal on social issues and a conservative on many fiscal issues, I am finding that combination is a rather tricky line to straddle…or at least in regards to supporting a candidate that isn’t too far right for my tastes or as you put it a “troll”. I would agree with you that Bernie might of gotten my vote over Trump but then I think the real issue is..could I vote for Hillary over Trump? As my daughter said the other day ” It’s like we are being asked which STD would we rather have.”

  4. Barry Says:

    Thanks OE. I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ll read those articles.

  5. rita Says:

    Great article, Bud. Thanks for sharing!

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