Thursday, July 9, 2015

I Got Offensive on Twitter

So I was denounced on Twitter last week for being “offensive” and “in your face.”  Here’s a screen grab of this epic take-down, with the poster’s name, current pic, and part of his handle obscured to discourage Twitter-style mob justice (Please, just DON'T.)  Part of the handle had to remain, for obvious reasons.

Maybe he had a point.  I dunno.  You be the judge – here’s the pic he complained about:

I KID, I KID.  The “biopic” he objected so heartily appears next to my response to his denunciation (below.)  It was just my long-time profile pic, rainbow-ified to celebrate the marriage equality decision with folks whose lives are more directly impacted by it. 

His denunciation didn’t have anything to do with anything I actually said.  Applying a rainbow filter to my pic was, itself, perceived as a hostile act. 

When a guy who goes by a Confederate War general’s name tells you that symbolic support for LGBT rights is “offensive” and “in your face,” you might wonder about his sense of irony.  And when that general’s name is also synonymous with a major event in the LGBT civil rights movement, it’s kinda funny.

I do wonder how The Founders would have felt about the notion that anyone merely expressing an opinion that differs from your own is being “offensive” and “in your face.”  Just an opinion generally, publicly expressed, without any insult being specifically directed at one or more persons.  Somehow, I doubt Madison, Hamilton, and Jay would be impressed by the offended party's reasoning.  I suspect they would have found the notion counter to all they'd worked for, and a threat to the marketplace of freely-exchanged ideas that they hoped the United States would become.

When I posted about my rainbow-ification angst, a few folks teased me about over-thinking things.  But this guy’s reaction was exactly the sort of thing I was anticipating.  I can’t help it - whenever a new issue comes up, the first thing that pops into my head is what the hard right spin will be.

In other words:

Maybe it comes from having spent many years in overwhelmingly conservative Idaho and eastern Washington.  Or from having worked on a few Democratic campaigns in both locations.  Or from spending a lot of time with conservative commentary in the last 30 years.  It’s probably some combination of these. 

I’m not nearly as good at predicting more reasonable conservatives’ reactions to hot-button issues.  Luckily, many of the most vocal conservative opinion leaders skew heavily toward the reactionary camp.

This was why I felt compelled to expressly articulate my intentions when I rainbow-ified my pic.  Haters gonna hate, and outrage finders are gonna be outraged, so you may as well try to inoculate against it as much as possible.

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