Well, yesterday was a special day for me on Twitter. I "blocked" my first person ever. Bring out the confetti. To be clear, I didn’t mind that he was an idiot – I’m fine chiding such folks – and I do think "idiot" is an objective observation. So, idiot is okay. That's life. But then he started sending me 10 outraged tweets to every one of mine. And that’s a wee bit beyond my acceptable limit. So, he got blocked.
This was the exchange.
His handle was “Facts Matter,” and his first note was scathing, among other things telling me that “you and Dems is ruining America.” I wrote back a simple reply that it actually should be “you and Dems are ruining America.” And I noted that I only mentioned this because, after all, “facts matter.”
This apparently outraged him because he wrote back an angry reply about how “Elsiberg, you are awful.” So, I responded very politely that it was actually spelled, “Elisberg,” something I said I only brought up because, of course, “facts matter.”
He tried to posture his way through this, saying that he would refer to me any way he believed he wanted to. I said, "No, misspelling and bad grammar is not a belief system." And added that they probably do more to actually ruin America than a tweet. Because, ultimately, “facts matter.”
And that’s when he went off mad-crazy with his tsunami of tweets, unrelenting, and so I blocked him. But I could see other people’s replies to him that were hilariously scathing.
And yet the Twitter Day was only starting. In the evening last night, I wrote a series of tweets about the huge concern of the far right, pushed by Donald Trump, of course, notably in his infamous "Second Amendment people" speech, about how Hillary Clinton wanted to repeal. the Second Amendment, something that seems to be an ongoing concern of their. Never mind that she doesn't, has never hinted that she wants to, nor have I ever heard any political leader ever suggest such a thing. (Never mind, too, that there is no Second Amendment around the rest of the world, and yet countries have gone on fine, and guns are available everywhere. The only difference is that they have far fewer gun murders and mass killers. But I digress...) The point of my tweets was that the reality is that's an INCREDIBLY HARD thing to repeal an Amendment, to the extent of it being near-impossible,. I explained that it requires 2/3 of the Senate, 2/3 of the House, and after all that, 3/4 of every state legislature. (Keep in mind that it's taken about 80 years to try and get the Equal Rights for women Amendment passed, and after almost a century to no avail. For equal right for women. There is no lost irony that for the first time in 240 years a women is running for President of the United States.)
Most of the response I received was an outpouring of Likes , Retweets and praise, though a few loons chimed in. And again, I think "loons" is an objective term. One, for instance, slammed me with every imaginable insult the person could think of for every part of me. What I replied...well, actually, no, I didn't even bother to reply. It fell into the "life's too short" category. To another, which was merely angry and hated me, I simply wrote back that I appreciated him letting me know and "Enjoy the Olympics."
The worst though showed up over overnight, and I saw it this morning. Such a fine way to start the day. It came from a guy who was saying to me that Hillary Clinton didn’t have to repeal the Second Amendment, she could just sign an Executive Order to get rid of it. I mean, seriously, what do you say to that in 140 characters? So, I kept my reply as low-key as reasonable,, basically writing, “Please, tell me you’re not serious about this. The president can’t repeal the CONSTITUTION by a mere Executive Order.” And added a “Sigh…” at the end. He wrote back to again insist that the president only had to declare “Marshall Law” (perhaps this is an offshoot of the Marshall Plan -- never mind that actual "martial law" is temporary) and could then sign an Executive Order that would repeal the Second Amendment. Once more, I simply repeated that I dearly hoped he wasn’t serious, that actually repealing an real Amendment was far more difficult than an Executive Order, and left it at that, with another sigh – knowing that others would pour on his ignorance. And so they did. Like a torrent. And he hasn't replied since.
But the point of all this isn't Twitter, which serves only as the foundation to what's important here. And that's how reading things like this, reading from people who actually believe that Hillary Clinton wants to repeat the Second Amendment and -- far worse -- that they actually believe to such a fevered degree that a president can simply sign an Executive Order to change the United States Constitution, and are in such a gall-ridden fury over who hates America because that person hates Donald Trump, it makes it all the easier to understand how Donald Trump came to lead the Republican Party.
It's not that facts and reality doesn't matter, it's that thinking doesn't matter. It's that ignorance is the foundation and something to be cherished and even embraced. Not knowing this isn't "Civics 101" stuff, like some people pointed out. It's Social Studies in the 5th grade.
And we get Donald Trump.
And his campaign is spinning out of control and down the drain. Deservedly so, but not without damage done that will take time to repair. But it will be repaired.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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