Baptism by fire! Spend enough time online, and you will definitely come across all types of trolls. Especially on public Facebook pages.
Believe it or not, I’m actually not a huge fan of arguing with strangers and trolls. I tried it for a short time a few years ago, and about the only thing I gained was elevated blood pressure and a headache. Very few people are open to having their minds changed; each person is there trying to convince every other person their thinking is correct.
It is an incredible waste of time and effort. Yet here I am, through little fault of my own, having just spent more time than I ever wanted fighting back trolls in the era of Trump. They have become more brazen and cocky, quicker to mete out a snap judgment and sucker punch, while hiding behind a veil of semi-privacy and total cowardice they can never attain in the real world. And yes, some of them call themselves “liberals” as well.
When they turn on the computer and dial into this pseudo-reality, otherwise average Joes can convince themselves they are on an even playing field with “The Elites.” This quasi existent class of people they have been told controls the media, the government, the law of the land, has morphed into a real person here and a real person there, and in this online universe, Joe sees The Elite everywhere. And The Elite are an enemy to be vanquished, at any cost, and now he is the strong and macho man who will do just that.
Each time he launches a grammatically insufferable tirade, Joe can feel his back straighten a bit more and his keyboard clack a bit more confidently. Just like he imagines of any true patriot in battle, he mentally marks another notch on his belt of enemies vanquished. It never occurs to him, because of sheer ignorance, that half the time a human does not even read what he has written. On the occasions that one does, a quick tap of a key dismisses his unlit match into the trash heap of cyberspace.
Perhaps one time in a hundred, an actual person might attempt to interact with Joe. This opportunity is completely lost on him, because he has none of the basic communication skills necessary to volley. He reacts with vitriol that immediately gets him banished forever from that space, and his end result is the same. Except this time Joe feels he has accomplished something different, a higher achievement of angering The Elite, when in actuality he has been summarily dismissed.
It is within this divide we currently exist and wonder why politics is so partisan. The school bully has been convinced he is being bullied, so he is acting out in impotent rage. He wrongly concluded he is making some progress, which gives him more confidence to waste more of his time.
But Joe can put Christian Patriot in his profile. And he flies Old Glory in his front yard. After all, that is the true definition of American…according to the “non-Elites.”