This is my first blog update in a while, some may have wondered where I've been, let me tell you...
I took a break from debating creationists to debate Trump supporters on Facebook. In the Zenn diagram of these two demographics it's almost a circle, the arguments just change. Sadly they're no less rational and a lot more offensive.
I'll concentrate here on the mindset of most I encounter. Intransigent imbeciles would be to put it mildly, and in a term most would have to Google. Doubtless there are those of this mindset who support Hillary, Bernie, Obama, Stein, or any other politician anywhere. My experience is with Trumpers, for it is on his supporter pages I have been spending my time. Don't ask me why, I think I'm a masochist who just doesn't like pain.
First off, Trumpers will believe anything, and I mean anything. As long as it conforms to their confirmation bias and/or plays to their prejudices, they will accept it. Not only that, they will even tell you straight out they do not care if what they are reading is true, or question who is posting it, they agree with it anyway.
If you warn them that the person they're responding to is a fake account, usually either Macedonian, Kosovan, Filipino, Indian, or Pakistani, and the material being posted is at best untrue and at worst potentially harmful they will invariably do one of two things; ignore you, or attack you.
When they attack is when you see just how intellectually bankrupt, wilfully ignorant and hateful they can be.
Take, for example, Tina. I encountered her last night. Tina's issue was not that she, as an American, was being misled with propaganda. Her issue was that a Brit such as I was interfering, I should apparently sort my own country out first. Less said about that irony the better when I look at the middle east!
Tina attacked me because I always criticised these articles, I didn't praise Trump for what they said. Think about that - in her mind I should have been praising Trump for something which was demonstrably not true. How does that make any sense, to agree with and praise anybody for something that is simply untrue?
For the record, I've called out fake negative articles about Trump, too, but they are far fewer in number, especially on pro-Trump pages. I just don't like fake news, whoever it is about.
As further example of how insufferably ignorant Trumpers can be, Tina then went on to bring up one of the favourite bogeymen of the right, George Soros. She made several accusations against him, none of them new to me. I responded by citing a Channel4 article which systematically debunks all of the conspiracies and gives a background to their origins. Did she read it? Clearly not, because she responded with a photo of him in a Nazi uniform - a photo my article had already debunked as being of Oskar Groening! She then responded with an anonymous YouTube video, which indicated it was time to give up and go to bed.
Yet, no, Tina wasn't finished. She has spent most of today attacking me, too, telling everybody I'm a Brit troll who should be ignored. She also took to trawling my personal wall and disliking posts, even those completely unrelated to politics or America.
The irony of all this, and one which seems completely lost on Tina and those who have expressed similar opinion, that a Brit should butt out, is that this is happening on Facebook pages owned and run by... foreigners, often Macedonians. The page Tina and I are on is owned by a couple who claim to be Norwegian but are likely also Macedonians. Either way, not American.
There's also the irony that she told me she doesn't care where people are from when they share articles. Yet she does care about where those warning about their veracity are from?
She went on to accuse me having an agenda of hating Trump and wanting to destroy America. I'm doing this, apparently, by drawing attention to fake news articles, which strikes me a strange way of doing it!
I've used Tina as an example as that was my most recent encounter and she neatly encapsulates all of the Trumper head-desk inducing insanities.
Last year I was booted from one Trump supporters' page where the admin team, about 8 strong, was entirely composed of profiles that made no attempt to hide that they were all in Macedonia or Kosovo. It existed solely to plant fake news articles for Trumpers to nod agreement to and share.
I'll close with this thought; what is happening on Facebook is part of a wide raging and longterm cyber attack on America, a cyber war designed to damage her democracy and cause hate, instability and division. I have many good friends there, I care about them, I care about their futures. I've seen the same propaganda campaigns used in European elections, and the UK's Referendum. I want better for America.
If you knowingly turn a blind eye to propaganda, or help promulgate it, you are not a patriot. In wartime you would be called a collaborator. Yet what else can you call those, like Tina, attacking an ally who is trying to protect them and defending those intent on harming their country?
Next time, if I can be arsed, I may delve into some of the articles I've seen and the troll accounts that Facebook should be removing, but so often don't.
Thanks for reading.