Dear Conservative Patriots of America,
You have a Facebook page that is rife with decidedly inflammatory threads and comments which feature historical revisionist inaccuracies, accusations made under false premises, rabid nationalism, ethnocentrism, logical fallacies, baseless condemnations, paranoid conspiracy theories, fear-based speculation, sensationalism, and even rhetoric that is unequivocally seditious. Expressing dissent toward the government is a component of free speech, but when people feel comfortably inspired to call for armed insurrection against the United States government based on melodramatic speculation, they are playing with fire.
Regarding the nature of your page’s content, a few points should be discussed…
When someone mentions that there is a need to discuss the issue of firearm regulations regarding assault weapons, that doesn’t translate to your precious guns being taken away. Alas, the straw man fallacy becomes you more often than not. Not to worry. When the dreadful tyranny of the U.S. government comes knocking at your door in the dead of the night to lock you up in a re-education camp, you will surely have the means to defend yourself against the fighter/attack jets, gunships with mounted GAU-19/A Gatling guns, armed drones, guided missiles, smart bombs, and a state-of-the-art communications/reconnaissance satellite network that is capable of spotting a baseball resting on a front lawn from space. Best of luck with the assault weapons…
President Obama is a Socialist? Try again. He is a centrist with both progressive and conservative policies. Are you aware that socialized programs have existed in the U.S. for centuries, and still do? A few of those include police & fire services, public schools and public health services. They are subsidized by taxpayers and available to everyone.
At least the birther movement found a home within your organization. Those poor folks had nowhere else to go. Your charity is commendable. Would it be unkind to burst their bubble and inform these fringe theorists that every single one of their groundless indictments has been categorically debunked? Are they truly incapable of expressing their opposition to President Obama with something more relevant than a grandiose and racist ad hominem fallacy that has become a running joke among more coherent people?
Admittedly, conspiracy theories can be fun… in the same way that imagining Santa Claus and his flying reindeer can be fun. Conversely, conspiracy theories can also be precarious descents into unstable obsessions. Some of your members are under the impression that not only is a civil war looming just over the horizon, but that it is already underway. Here are a few of their comments, with the original grammar & spelling intact:
“Whether it be 1 or 1,000 people we need to kill to protect our GOD-GIVEN RIGHTS, we need the ability to do so!”
“load um up get ready its on safetys off”
“The Civil War has already began! We are just not shooting bullets yet! If you don’t realize that it’s already game on You’re delusional or uninformed!”
“Not only is it our constitutional right to have guns and carry them but that should include anything that our government has, the second amendment isn’t so we can fend off felons, it is there so we can fend off this government if it became tyrannical. I want you to have an f-16, shoulder fired missles, m1 Abrams tanks. Better safe and free than sorry and oppressed”
“Absolutely that is what the 2nd is about. The citizenry should be able to defend itself against any enemy. If it wasn’t for the citizenry being armed then Japan would have invaded the mainland US in WWII.”
“If this President keeps trampling the constitution, we will in fact be going jn the direction of RedDawn”
“ I think you all know the Dark knight Rises and Sandy Hook Connections? And also…in the Matrix, Neo’s passport expired on 9/11…..”
“ The government aka Illuminati, Luciferians, New World Order elites, have been dropping hints for a long time…for those that wanna joke about aluminum beanies and so forth…but let me say this, you call us conspiracy nut jobs all you want, it will be you who suffer the most…an eternity maybe?”
“It’s getting ready to happen… We need help.”
See? That was fun. While these may not necessarily be your words, these are the sort of people that your page attracts and the sort of behavior it encourages.
God-given rights? Which god would that be and why does he/she/it always seem to be on a permanent vacation when an issue, such as human rights, comes up? Given the highly subjective nature of religious belief, you would do well to remember that in a pluralistic culture, a statement such as that doesn’t mean the same thing to some people and it doesn’t mean anything to others.
That brings us to the preppers, the modern-day survivalists whose paranoid suspicions seem to be influenced less by thoughtful analysis and more by nearly every post-apocalyptic film produced in the last 50 years. Could the envisioned scenario be something like “Damnation Alley” meets “Mad Max” meets “The Omega Man,” with Snake Plissken and John Connor leading the resistance against Skynet’s socialist zombies?
As you may or may not already be familiar, psychological projection is a defense mechanism in which a person maintains self-image by attributing his or her own less-than-desirable qualities onto someone else. Is it possible that before engaging in pejorative accusations and disparaging appellations, your patrons should aspire to more humble goals? For example, goals such as at least attaining literacy levels that would make any properly-educated 4th grader proud.
Historical revisionism has become a cornerstone for Republicans and Tea Party acolytes. It may comfort these revisionists to fabricate historical events to correspond with their desires that the Christian deity is a U.S. citizen… that native tribes benefited from genocide… that slavery was a better way of life… that academia is a liberal conspiracy. However, desired outcomes are not the same as facts, regardless of the spin put on them. An agenda becomes clear when people from the conservative side of the fence who claim that Senator Joseph McCarthy was a hero, happen to be the same ideologues who accuse any dissenting voice as being a traitor, a “commie,” a socialist, or all of the above.
Bill Maher pointed this out during the 2012 election campaign: “That’s one thing that unites this Republican field: fact-free… a zero-tolerance policy for facts of any kind.” It seems this particular ailment is more chronic than acute, but no less severe.
You and your followers are analogous to those dinner party guests who always get a little too loud and a little too daft while sharing ideas about the New World Order conspiracy after drinking one too many Jager bombs with a Budweiser chaser. It was nonsensically amusing at first, but now people are just uncomfortable and ready to leave the party early.
While some may view this letter as insulting, it should be noted that far more insulting is the conscious dissemination of misinformation to disturbingly ignorant people who are ripe for rationalizations to conceal their personal prejudices and render those prejudices as less repulsive.
Is it too much to ask for a better class of antagonist from the conservative side of the fence? After observing the hasty inclinations of your fan base, it may be far too much to ask.
A rational thinker