Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The loss of a "friend"

Last night I was "de-friended" on Facebook by a high school classmate. I haven't actually seen this man in over 10 years; Facebook was the only "interaction" we have had in the last decade. I will admit that lately the correspondence has been one-sided, and perhaps even a little aggressive - but it's an election year, right?

In the course of the last month I have responded to various attacks on the Democratic party by "friends" who post items or notes through Facebook. My attacks are never personal, and usually nothing more than an attempt to play Devil's Advocate or counter the partisan post. My language is never vulgar; my arguments never defamatory. I view the interaction as an attempt to exercise the my right to free speech and the necessary process of political discourse when it is brought up in a public forum; especially in an election year with as much pandering, platitudes, and potshots as this race has witnessed.

I don't usually respond to Facebook notes, items, or even pictures. I may peruse the various posts of my friends, but rarely do I voice my opinion on political issues on Facebook. This summer has seen a stark change in my reserved behavior; mainly due to a lack of anyone else trying to fight the clear fallacies spread about Obama - this includes Obama himself, causing me much ire.

My first real venture into the political debate with - for all intensive purpose - an almost complete stranger was last month when I fired back at posts by a friend's sister-in-law. The sparring went back-and-forth with red herring and straw man arguments from her side, and simple questions of where she found her information from me mixed with challenges of her arguments. In the end, I was told I was childish and if I didn't didn't like her posts, then I shouldn't read them. She claims she has a right to post as she sees fit because of the First Amendment; evidently, I don't have a right to rebut her claims as I see fit under the same Constitution.

My other sparring match was with the aforementioned "casualty" of Facebook friendom. This gentleman posted snide comments about Obama's campaign being like China for boycotting and protesting a radio program in Denver during the DNC. When I countered his argument that no free speech was being silenced and then brought up the RNC riots and arrests of reporters, he never responded. He would post notes and items attacking Obama and I would riposte leading to no response until last night.

Why post items on a public forum such as Facebook, if you cannot handle defending your positions? I have posted many articles recently and I willing to discuss with any willing person as to why I posted them and discuss the arguments contained within those op-eds and news articles. It's not a matter of "if you don't like it, change the channel", so much as it is "if you can't handle the heat, then get of the kitchen."

Just when you think you're out...

Well Sprinters, I'm back. Oddly enough, it's been exactly a year since I posted last and what a year it has been.

The presidential campaign, cowardly media, slanted radio hosts, financial crisis, and continued Middle East turmoil have pulled me back into the blogosphere. This time, however, I'm angry. Angry at the politicians that gave me hope, angry at the opposing politicians for being so self-serving even at the cost of America's success, angry at the media for letting the politicking, smears, blatant lies, and bigotry go unpunished, angry at Americans for being so blind, partisan, and cowardly, angry at our government for letting the average American drown in debt while bailing out corporate execs, and angry at myself for how powerless it makes me feel.

The mad dash to midnight seems looming and the race has picked up pace.