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Thursday, March 03, 2016

Politics as unusual, 2016

For Lent, I decided to give up political posting on Facebook.  No posts, no liking other posts, no comments on the political posts of others, no matter how much they need my advice ;)

This has been a hard vow to keep.

But I keep reminding myself that with all the heat, there's relatively little convincing being done by Facebook posts and tweets.

Do pro-Bernie posts make others "Feel the Bern"? Do those comments wondering how Bernie is going to convince a Republican Congress to do anything have any negative effect on Bernie supporters? [especially those who realize that it was a Republican House that wasted all that time trying to impeach Bill Clinton, and is hardly composed of Hillary fans]

The endless posts attacking and parodying Trump don't seem to be having much impact so far. Seems to be more proof that "There's no such thing as bad publicity." (P.T. Barnum)  I don't understand it. I predicted last summer that Trump would be only a distant memory by the summer of 2016 -- sort of like remembering what year Howard Dean was the temporary frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. You have it here in writing: I WAS WRONG.

The pro-Hillary posts seem determined to emphasize the least persuasive arguments for me (an older white male).

  • Hillary is inevitable so Bernie should just get out. 
  • We wouldn't be asking the same questions of Hillary if she were male.
I don't find either the argument that she is inevitable or the argument that I'm a mysogynist particularly persuasive in getting me to be a Hillary supporter.

I've yet to see a positive post about Cruz in my newsfeed.  I see positive posts from my friends about Bernie, Hillary, Rubio, Trump, Kasich, Carson, and even Lindsay Graham. But I have yet to see a positive post about Cruz, except a couple that basically say "He's odious, but better than Trump." 

But I digress. My month away from the US in January and my current vow of silence make me realize that we're all just posting to ourselves on Facebook, and we're unlikely to be convincing anyone.  

To the extent that we are reading these things, I think I am like many of my friends in finding the political discourse on social media profoundly depressing.  Is this the 2016 candidates, or something about social media, or both? Or maybe we're just here at this point now: 
and with March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and early November still to go!

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