As I was browsing my Facebook newsfeed this week, I saw that one of my friends had posted a promo for Ron Paul. Foolishly, I posted a comment, questioning his support for a man that I find “scary”. He further asked the reason for my skepticism, and I offered him the easiest point, one that wouldn’t require me to really delve into the candidates political stance too much; His KKK news publications in the 90s.
Oh boy, did I light a forest fire with that one. My friend, who we will call Oliver, asked me for references, so I offered him a famous CNN interview and researched spot. He brought in his friend, who it seems it the one who got him into this, who started personally attacking me and stereotyping my potential views. By the time his friend, “Ben” was done attacking me, he had written a whole picture about who I possible am, my ethnic and religious background and based on those assumptions, what my political views are. At the end of his rant, “Ben” links his girlfriend into the conversation. These two, work on some sort of a Ron Paul publicity campaign it seemed.
At this point, I get angry and start giving the two of them, article after article, from major news sources on how Ron Paul’s voting record does not match his campaign promises among other things. All I got in return was, more personal attacks.
And this is where my dilemma starts. During the 1998 Presidential election, I remember you would be reprimanded if you spoke up against President Obama, a new, previously unheard of candidate at the time. In California, people were afraid to open their mouths, and say anything remotely negative, because chances were, you would be labeled as a racist, receive dirty looks, or random people would stop to give you a piece of their mind. No, it would not be nice.
Whatever happened to holding a civil discussion about the pros and cons of an issue. People have thrown out the rules and etiquette of proper discussion in exchange for bullying people into a corner and forcing them to follow their beliefs. This country was founded and thrives on freedom of beliefs, opinions and speech. Once we start limiting people on their free speech and right to their opinion, are we not going backward towards the 1940s?
I said my piece on “Oliver’s” Facebook page and stopped commenting. In the end, no matter how negative I think Ron Paul is for this country, I will never change his mind or his friends’ mind. I tried to offer them facts, and all I got was personal attacks on my character and manipulated information and well, there was no point to continue.
Believe me, I have better things to do with my time. Like reading up on actual candidates that have a chance to win the next election.