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All Politics Is Loco

Take this good, wholesome Christian woman:

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And then tell her that the President might be coming to Gettysburg:

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As you can see, some people really get all sorts of bent out of shape about politics. Even when the President is not coming to Gettysburg, people react like this:

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And that’s only the very tip of the iceberg. There’s a Facebook page for the US Representative in my district, and people there get just as nuts, if not more. You have everything from the people who claim that the President is a Kenyan Muslim sleeper agent to people who really believe that Republicans are trying to institute a New World Order. “Nuts” doesn’t begin to describe it sometimes.

What’s even more nuts is that my representative, Scott Perry, has openly threatened to delete or otherwise censor comments on Facebook that he (or, frankly, his staff) deems offensive or undesirable. That gets me all sorts of worked up because Facebook is an open forum akin to a public square. Sure, it’s digital, and somewhat anonymous if people are using pseudonyms, but it’s still an open space where ideas can be shared. To delete comments is just like shutting up people and not allowing them to speak. It’s very, very un-American.

Last, but not least, an update from my most recent “fan”:

Her tweets get more and more racist as time goes on. For her, immigrants are “barbarian hoards” and other choice comments. She claims that she lives in the heads of “Liberal Progressives” because people comment on how ridiculous she sounds, how unhinged she seems to be. Who’s living in whose head?

Me? I try to keep some semblance of rationality when I discuss politics. It’s hard. Sometimes people say the stupidest things, people on either side of the political spectrum. Democrats say that Republicans are racist, money hungry capitalists, while Republicans say that Democrats are bleeding heart liberals who would kill every unborn fetus if given a chance. For some, there is no happy medium.

For me, there is. But it’s hard for me to stay in the middle when talking to people who are on the extremes. I find myself gravitating to the other extreme to keep some sort of balance in the discussion. Just the other day, students at my school started complaining that there wasn’t enough vegetarian and gluten-free food for them. I just rolled my eyes and thought of all the people in the world who don’t get to make that choice. Does that make me a Liberal Progressive?

Then I had a discussion on the housing developments in Baltimore, and the person discussing it with me was telling me all about how hopeless and desperate and helpless the people in those dilapidated row houses were. When I pointed out to him that a lot of them seem able-bodied enough to get jobs, it was almost as if I had called upon satan himself. He might as well have crossed himself, the way he looked at me.

Talking politics shouldn’t be a matter of madness and yelling past each other without reaching any kind of conclusion. It shouldn’t be about people on the right abandoning social safety nets because people should be able to make it on their own, or about people on the left requiring that the government intervene in every single one of our problems. But it is. And it’s sad.

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René F. Najera, DrPH

I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
About History of Vaccines: I am the editor of the History of Vaccines site, a project of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Please read the About page on the site for more information.
About Epidemiological: I am the sole contributor to Epidemiological, my personal blog to discuss all sorts of issues. It also has an About page you should check out.

1 reply

  1. Welcome to my unfortunate world.
    First, I’m retired military, with SF experience and more.
    I’m also a competition shooter in tournaments for monetary prize (or the occasional,literal, turkey).
    We’ll suffice it to say that I can hit what I shoot at.
    Courtesy of said experience, I’m rather desiring to avoid human components in shooting, save for said prize competitions.
    In short, I really hate killing people. I was and am good at it, I hate doing it. It was something required of my duties.

    Now, come into the world of what I honestly call a tea tard*
    When discussing firearms limitations after the Sandy Hook disaster, I was repeatedly confronted by tea tards.
    The major item was, “You are afraid of my guns! I have these….”
    The tard was then met by my own persona inventory that exceed most of their notions of “inventory”.
    I have a “black rifle”, with match barrel, precision sights, precision trigger, assorted other modifications to ensure it was around 0.2MOA accuracy.
    It’s a competition unit. Not for hunting, home defense or propping up a window.
    My M1A is the same.
    My other part of dozen firearms are hunting units, save for two units I inherited from my father.
    One is an infamous “Saturday night special”, a palm sized .25 semiautomatic pistol.
    The other was a model of .22 revolver notorious for self-disassembly when firing.
    Shoot it, the barrel is even money going downrange toward the target.
    The /.25 auto is historic, so I’ll keep it. Might grind the firing pin down when I’m ready to pass it along.

    The interesting thing is, when the tea tard heard my inventory, they shut down.
    Their betters never provided them with talking points or force v force.

    But then, that is how one deconstructs a threat.
    But, reserves force on force if one is called back from retirement. :/

    * I don’t call anyone a teabagger (that is a sexual thing and not a political thing) and usually don’t call anyone a “tard”, save when they earn such a term of mental disability.


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