Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sometimes I Despair

Society seems to be more divided than ever, with strong feelings on every side of every issue, and very little middle ground. How do you deal with putting your views out there? Have you ever had to deal with a flame war?

From Jim

I avoid airing my political views on social media.

But just this week I reached my limit with the cruel, un-American (and unchristian), inhumane separation of children from their parents at the border. I put up a couple of posts on Facebook to express my shame, outrage, and hope (via donations to organizations to help those poor, suffering people). A flaming war quickly ensued, and I spent the day in a shaking rage.

And so I’m back to keeping my political thoughts to myself on social media. The fact is I’m not going to change the opinion of anyone who believes that caging innocent, weeping children is somehow okay. And for the people who agree with me, I’m preaching to the choir. I will continue to voice my opinions in my private life, and I’LL VOTE.


Karen in Ohio said...

Jim, I hear you. We commented on some of the same posts, in fact, and on the same side of the issue.

But hear me on this, okay? Consider yourself what in sales is called a "center of influence". Many people admire you, and look up to you for your intelligence. Because you so rarely express your political viewpoint, when you do so it has a much greater force.

You will never convince everyone, that much is true. However, you will convince some, who may otherwise never hear or read a dissenting opinion or fact than they hear or see in the rest of their world. You could be the crack that lets the light come in.

Paul D. Marks said...

I pretty much do the same as you, Jim. And I say the same thing, I'm not going to change anyone's mind and they're not going to change mine. So when I see political posts and whether I agree or disagree with them I scroll by them. And I mostly don't post anything political. So I get where you're coming from.

RJ Harlick said...

Well said, Jim, short and to the point.

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Getting into a flame war sure can put a damper on a perfectly good writing day.

Unknown said...

Your words struck a chord with me.

I've had your experience and have pretty much decided the same thing. It feels wrong to stay out of it, but those online fights suck the spirit right out of you. And the problem is that the flamers enjoy it (at least from the safety of their keyboard), whereas you feel it to the core and are left shaking with rage.

Karen said it, though: people like you, with a fan base, can sway minds, so don't give up.

Gram said...

I'm the choir.

James W. Ziskin said...

Thanks, all. Makes me feel much better. I nearly flamed someone again yesterday for an odious comment, but resisted and moved on. I’ll try to be judicious about when and where I post going forward. Your comments mean a lot. Thanks!

Susan C Shea said...

Wow, so sorry you got flamed. I never have been although my opinions are so out there. I do get into civil arguments, but, hey, I'm a New Yorker, I like debate! Does it hurt me as an author? Could that be the reason I can't break out of the great bulge of the mid-list cohort? (Haha, not likely.) I do care about that, I just don't know how to stifle my're such a gentleman that anything you do say is bound to be compassionate and doesn't deserve hostility. In your case, WWES?!