Social media has arguably changed the political landscape in the U.S., and provides a medium for citizens, pundits, journalists, and politicians to interact with each other pretty much however they like. This has lead to various political culture wars in the virtual world, with its own lexicon defining the battleground. Whether it’s talk of the Twitter Gulag – the place where “naughty” conservatives often find themselves trapped in silence – or Facebook trolls and spam, there is no shortage of virtual verbal weapons for liberals to use.
I am not suggesting that liberals are the only ones firing against anyone. Conservatives are certainly engaged in this battle of words. However, it is not a two-sided argument much of the time, particularly in the world of social media. While I’d like to say that I am not a novice in online world, recently I became aware of something that honestly didn’t think happened very often – liberals leaving tirades on the Facebook walls of conservatives, then blocking those same people from returning the favor. In the specific case I came across, the liberal in question not only took steps to prevent me from commenting on her content, but also repeatedly accused me of failing to engage in meaningful debates with her.
Now, it’s been many moons since I was a student in a Philosophy class, but it hasn’t been long enough for me to forget about the concept of a one-sidedness fallacy. It is what that woman on Facebook was accusing me of doing, of course. As the name implies, a one-sidedness fallacy is an argument for a thesis that does not take opposing views into consideration. While I cannot speak for all conservatives, personally I avoid weighing in on issues without considering the opposing views.
I’ve come under fire often over the years, most rabidly and recently on something I wrote about voting requirements. I made the radical suggestion that voters should actually know what they are voting for, and be able to prove it before casting a ballot. Poll tests have essentially been forbidden by Constitutional Amendment, so this is purely a theoretical statement regardless. I didn’t write this article to suggest new legislation or voting procedures. It was to point out the insanity of having great masses of people casting ballots while having not a single clue what they are voting for (or against.) Of course this didn’t sit well with liberals, because without mindless support of the masses, it is unlikely that they would continue to enjoy the power they have. No matter how much they want to delude themselves into thinking that conservatives are all mouth-breathing, gun-toting rednecks, that simply isn’t the case. I would wager that if there actually were basic exams for voters, in which they had to prove that they understood the functions of the offices they were casting ballots to fill, there would be more conservatives passing than liberals.
Many conservatives choose to avoid engaging in arguments with liberals, for various reasons. Mine is fairly easy to understand – capitalism. I am a writer, my content is primarily political, and it is written for a conservative or Libertarian audience, depending on the topic. I have no delusions of grandeur that make me believe I have any chance of selling my message to a liberal audience. So, I choose not to engage in arguments with people that I know would never buy what I have to sell, so to speak. That is something that I pointed out at least once to the lovely liberal that has chosen to prevent me from doing what she claims she wants me to do – engage in meaningful debate with her.
As for the topic that caused me to discover that this woman only wanted to express her thoughts on my wall, it was abortion. It was yet another liberal piece of nonsense that theoretically expressed the logical conclusion that because many conservatives are opposed to abortion, they must also be opposed to sex in general. That in itself is a prime example of a one-sidedness fallacy. While there very well may be some pro-life conservatives that are also anti-sex, that certainly is not the opinion of all pro-lifers. They are all for responsible sex, and are against state subsidies for abortion, and probably also birth control. I am an atheist, so I personally choose to stay out of the religious and spiritual portions of this particular debate, primarily because it is not my place to attempt to define beliefs of others. I would have pointed this out to that liberal woman if she had not chosen to keep me from doing what I still permit her to do –comment on posts on Facebook. If nothing else, I can revel in the knowledge that in spite of anything anyone else might say about me, I am more open-minded than at least one liberal.