I decided late last night that I would no longer let complete bullshit go unchallenged.
“Don’t pay any attention to it.”
“Don’t let stuff like that bother you.”
“The more you engage with people like that, the worse they get.”
Of course, this has to do with the current political season and the extraordinary need that some people have to support their favored candidate by hurling accusations and name-calling at the opponents.
I’m not okay with that. I consider all forms of aggressive speech intended to damage a person’s reputation and credibility to be bullying. All is not fair in love and war or anywhere. Some things are not fair even if the person saying them believes that s/he has a greater good in mind. I wouldn’t be the one to kill a baby to save all of mankind.
So now when I hear things I know not to be true or read things posted by people I know on Twitter or Facebook that are obviously inflammatory and untrue, I’m not going to avoid a confrontation. I’m not going to wait for it all to blow over. I’m not going to give people the benefit of the doubt. I’m calling them on it, whatever it is. Exaggerations, overstatements, stretched truth, untruth, lies and innuendos, all of it has found a new whistle-blower.
Here’s why. Silence is agreement.
Oh sure, people will argue back. That will absolutely happen in spades, especially these days when the normal filters of good manners have been retired to the attic. Calling someone out on a gross misstatement will roust the troll that seems to have taken up residence in a lot of formerly normal people. What I have by way of intellect and reputation needs to be used, needs to be present, needs to be a force. Otherwise, I am a bystander and a coward.
Anyway, that’s my little mission right now. Bullshit patrol.
There’s room for you to join me. It’s easy. See an untruth, correct it. Don’t pick a fight. Don’t be snarky or sarcastic. Just correct the untruth and don’t look back. The idea is that untrue things will still be said and spread but your correction may slow down the train just a bit, remind people we are not all sheep waiting to be herded and give the doubters in the world real truth to latch onto. Think of it. You can be the person who tells Ingrid Bergman that Charles Boyer really is the one turning down the lights.(Gaslight 1944)