Over the weekend, I logged into my Twitter account to find that overnight I'd received a very angry tweet from a conservative who was upset with my HuffPo article written a few weeks ago (and posted here, too) about why Donald Trump (R-Trump Towers) is leading GOP polls.
(The very short version of the article is that the GOP has spent the last seven years, at a minimum, pounding into their party's base that educated people are bad, that science is bad, that faith is what's most important and trust us, that values are what's important, that compromise is bad, and that Washington is terrible and is The Problem so don't trust any of them. And pounded it to the point that a Farleigh-Dickinson study showed that people who watch "Fox News" know less than people who don't even watch any news at all. As a result, many of the base, not all, but enough have been pushed to embrace ignorance and probably don't even know who most of the candidates are and are happy to support the name that they know from television and support the candidates who aren't from Washington).
"Pathic [sic] how you group every one together your bias clearly outweighs your education." (I assume he meant "pathetic.") Also, over on his personal Twitter page, he called to arms others to send comments to me in outrage. At the moment, after two days, I haven't yet received any others, but then maybe they were just too outraged to type.
Honestly, I completely understand why he was upset -- it was a blunt, critical piece, and if I loved Donald Trump I'd have been upset, too. But then, if I was a Republican, I'd be more upset that Donald Trump was leading GOP polls. If I was a Republican and wanted my party to be seen as thoughtful, serious and the leading voice in politics, I'd be cringing that Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson were the top two leading candidates of my party, with Carly Fiorina not far behind. Three people with literally zero experience in politics in position to lead my political party. Three people whose positions are at best bombastic for attention, and at worst nasty, lying and neanderthal -- all in position to carry my party's banner and lead us over the edge, to crashing defeat, not just for the White House, but across the nation in state and local races for being at the top of the ticket.
That's what I'd be furious about, truly "pathetic" and ready to "vomit" (as he said), if I was a Republican.
Not shockingly for someone supportive of Donald Trump becoming President of the United States and, I assume, Dr. Ben Carson, the guy also totally mis-read my piece, seeing only what he wanted to, claiming I was bunching everyone together -- when the article is very clear in expressing that I'm talking about parts of groups and percentages of just the Republican base, not the whole Republican Party, but enough to sway things. More to the point, while saying it was "pathetic" how wrong I was, he didn't say why I was wrong. Or why the statistics I quote are wrong. Because...well, I don't think I was.
When I quote, among many polls referenced in the piece, that a Farleigh-Dickinson study shows that people who watch Fox News are less-informed than people who don't watch any news at all, that's not me being "biased," that's me being aware of the world around us and being factual. Someone may not like the conclusions I draw, but when those conclusions come from statistics and polls that I quote, and from repeated observations that I reference, the foundation of my opinions can at least be supported. If someone doesn't agree with those conclusions, fine, then tell me why. And bring the facts to contradict me and support what you believe.
Alas, my pen pal offered nothing. Only that he wanted to "vomit." Only that I was wrong -- not why I was wrong. Not why my statistics, polls and observations were wrong. But then, I think there's a reason for that -- I don't think they were wrong.
Your mileage may vary. But you probably aren't getting very good mileage.
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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