Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My New Policy Regarding Hillary Detractors

Now that Hillary Clinton has won New York, and by a very substantial margin, I hope the Bernie Sanders campaign can ease up on some of its destructive rhetoric.   Campaigns are not run by angels, but some of what the Sanders campaign has recently done, including an ad that incorrectly says Washington politicians vote under the influence of money received for speeches - an ad correctly called out by Chris Matthews on MSNBC several nights in a row (it's illegal for people in Congress to take money while in office, as Matthews correctly points out) - are beyond the pale.

The fact is neither Hillary nor Bernie are perfect, which means there are grounds for criticizing either, but I don't think it's too much to ask for the truth.

And then there's the tone of the criticisms.   I disagree profoundly with Bernie's lack of support of the Sandy Hook parents and their suit against gun manufacturers and dealers, but I think it's more than enough to state this disagreement, and not impugn Bernie personally.   Unfortunately, I've not seen the same about Hillary among some of Bernie's supporters.

In fact, in many discussions over the past few months, I've been treated to being cursed out and insulted, as well as presented with all kinds vicious - and groundless - characterizations of Hillary.   Indeed, I just was treated to some of this about Hillary today, on Facebook.

Accordingly, I've decided that, as of now, I will block and de-friend anyone who resorts to nasty insults rather than logic in commenting about any of my political Tweets, Facebook, or other online posts.   Disagreement is fine, and is the lifeblood of rational discourse.   Insults, often vulgar, are not, and indeed poison the discourse.

Here are some possible questions about my new policy, with, one hopes, helpful answers:

Levinson, I thought you believe in the First Amendment?

I do,  but last time I checked, I was neither Congress nor any part of government.  Therefore I'm entitled, unlike the government, to block any speech I find atrocious.

Come on, haven't you said nasty things about political candidates?

Yes, I have, but mostly against Trump.   Actually, that's true, but, even so, I don't think insult is helpful, and I'm going to try from now on to keep my criticism non-insulting, which is more effective, anyway.

Will you block long-term friends and family?

They'll probably get a pass, but it depends how long-term the offending friend in question may be. And as for family, I reserve the right to critique him or her at the next seder we attend.

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