Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Why did I bother?

I knew better.

I knew better, and I did it anyway.

Last week, a Facebook friend of a very conservative nature posted a graphic on Facebook. Unlike his usual postings, it wasn’t even a share, it was a graphic he’d come across, downloaded, then posted. It was about Christine Blasey Ford.

If you do not know who Christine Blasey Ford is, look her up. Suffice to say, the graphic posted was not particularly complimentary, calling her an alcoholic, promiscuous and, possibly worst of all, a liberal activist. It then suggested that not only was her coming forward a desperate attempt to keep a conservative off the Supreme Court, but that Dr. Blasey Ford was looking for a book deal.

If they were making The Princess Bride today (heck, the way Hollywood is, they probably are), Vizzini might declare that the most famous blunder of all is “never get involved in a political discussion on Facebook.” It’s almost always a no-win situation for all. Most people have no interest in actual, informed debate about politics on Facebook. Most people just want to stake their position and fly their flag as high as possible for all like-minded people to see, and to piss off those who don’t agree. The first time I saw this, I clicked in the comment box and was poised to strike, then thought better of it. It bothered me to pass it by, but it was sensible.

But two days later, based on whatever algorithms Facebook uses, it was there again, floating to the top of my news feed even though I am constantly telling Facebook I want it to sort by most recent, not what Facebook thinks is a ‘Top Story’ (why I have to change this every. Single. Time. I get on Facebook is beyond me). This time, I couldn’t hold back.

All I wanted was an acknowledgment. What acknowledgment? This one: Dr. Blasey Ford may well be all of those things this Facebook graphic depicts her as. An alcoholic. Promiscuous. A liberal activist. Sure, maybe she’s even an opportunist, hoping to catapult herself to riches and fame (though, please see this excellent post by John Pavlovitz about that). Yet, none of that precludes the possibility that Brett Kavanaugh did exactly what she says he did. Unsurprisingly, I got no admission of the sort. Instead, I got (and am still getting) the usual litany of Republican talking points, victim blaming, and straw men. In other words, pretty much what I expected. At least I haven’t gotten any personal attacks. Yet. I haven’t checked Facebook this morning. Meanwhile, I swear I’ll stay out of it next time…


2 Responses

  1. Its hard not to comment when something really affects you emotionally. I've made arguments for non-judgmental reporting myself sometimes, and I always say "this is the last time I comment on such . ."

    The world can do without social media, in my opinion.

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