I’ve been trolled! After 16 months of blogging, I received my first hateful comment. The writer thought my guest post A Gloomy Fourth was “treasonous” and as such I should be “put down by an American patriot.”
Whoa…it felt a bit like a kick to the gut.
I immediately sent a text to my friend and technical consultant, Kristin. I needed her to talk me through this.
Me: First troll; see my site!
K: So funny. I’m watching Trolls 2 with the girls right now…how random!
Me: Should I be afraid?
K: No, trolls are everywhere. I’ve deleted it.
Now I know how it feels to be trolled…just another first for me at the tender age of 58. You won’t see any changes to my site as a result of this experience. I’ll continue to devote most of my posts to the things that I love: family, friends, doxies, flowers and fitness. But I won’t shy away from expressing my opinions about politics when I feel compelled to do so. That’s what true American patriots do.
Fellow bloggers, have you had a visit from a troll?
Never say never! How many times have we all heard that expression? At the ripe age of 57, I’ve learned just how true those words are. During the past week, my bleeding liberal heart has been assuaged by …Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker and John McCain. Surprising? Yes! But simply shocking: I was also comforted by the thoughtful words of President George W. Bush!
I strongly disagree with the politics of all four of these men. But, they voiced what I have wanted to scream from the rooftop since POTUS entered the political arena. This is not normal! This is dangerous! This is sad! This is demoralizing! And, this is embarrassing!
Way back in the 1990’s, Mark Singer of The New Yorker wrote an in-depth profile of a real estate mogul . He concluded that the man had achieved something remarkable: “an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul.” Alas, that man now resides in the White House. I do not sleep well.
Another truism…my least favorite: life is not fair. I’ve always had trouble with this truth. I can not wrap my mind around the fact that a man with no honor has been rewarded with the highest office in the land.
Pundits are quick to point out that President Bill Clinton did not behave in an admirable way, at all times, in the Oval Office. History has chronicled the exploits of President John F. Kennedy. Ken Burns just brought a recording into our homes of President Lyndon Johnson acknowledging that the war in Vietnam could not be won many years before he sent more troops in to fight and die. We are still suffering the aftermath of President George W. Bush’s unjustifiable and unnecessary “crusade.” Politics is an ugly business and history is as imperfect as the worst of us.
And yet, we learned of the sins of past presidents after their actions. Our current president did not even attempt to hide who he is. He clearly, loudly and proudly told us all that he is a bigot, a misogynist, an ignoramus and an egotist. Then we elected him.
I like to imagine I have a crystal ball and I can see the future. It allows me to write history. In my book, the couragous women and men save us from the lies and hate and insanity. I’ll just keep telling you, dear readers, as a way of telling myself: Truth will be told. Democracy will survive.
I wonder if you were equally as appalled by Anthony Scaramucci’s language in his interview with The New Yorker. Probably not if I am to believe the general consensus of pundits from both sides of the political spectrum.
“The problem was not in the choice of words,” the talking heads all insisted. “After all, we all talk that way.”
No, we do not all talk that way! Perhaps, it would be accurate to say that most adults have heard this type of language, but it is not accurate to say that most adults use it. It is not even accurate to say that most of us are subjected to this language on a regular basis. It would only be accurate to say that we have not heard it from a spokesperson for the President of the United States before yesterday.
Foul language may be the least of our concerns about the current state of the White House, but I wonder what that suggests for our country. Imagine if we (really) all spoke that way.
Mr. Scaramucci leaned on his Italian, New Yorker personality to suggest that he was just being authentic. I know nothing of New York, but I know Italian. I’d like to help his mother wash his mouth out with soap and remind him that he speaks for our country now.
“I think it’s dangerous to look up and think he ( the man in the White House) holds all the power. If we look at each other, we understand that’s not true.”
“Let’s be very clear: Strong men –men who are truly role models–don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful. People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.”
The food on the top shelf of the fridge is melting because the upper light will not turn off and it’s generating too much heat. Meanwhile, the ice-maker in the freezer has stopped working altogether. Annoying! It’s January 22…two days after the inauguration. I’m on the phone speaking (well, negotiating) with a customer service representative from Sub-Zero. The contractor who completed my remodel did not register the appliance so I may have to pay for the repairs despite the fact that I think the appliance is still under warranty. Will the company representative agree? She can not miss the fact that I am sick; my voice is compromised, or sexy, as only my husband would say. I don’t know why I’m calling today, except that I should have called last week. Maybe she will feel sorry for me.
I attempt to create a rapport with her while we wait for her computer to retrieve the pertinent information about my appliance. I ask her where she’s located. She’s in Wisconsin. I wonder silently why “Wisconsin ” should generate a slight reaction within me. Hmmmm? Ah, yes…it is one of the states that helped elect our president. She apologizes for her very slow computer and asks me about the weather in California. I do not want to boast, but it is nice, I tell her. “However,” I add, “as you may have noticed, we get nasty colds in California, too! ” She laughs and continues to make enjoyable small talk. I get the feeling that I would like this woman.
Finally the computer is displaying the needed information and we are ready to get down to business. She asks me a few questions and we share another laugh this time at the expense of contractors who do not follow through with paperwork. It is beginning to become apparent to me that I am just outside the warranty window when she says “Ok, it’s done! You are covered; here’s the repairman you need to call!”
I hang up thinking that she seemed a very nice woman…a very nice woman from a red state. I am convinced that she could not possibly approve of the way the man in the White House speaks about women and minorities. She couldn’t possibly believe him fit to lead. And, yet…maybe …
Politics has always been of interest to me, and I have always delighted in vigorous debate. But, this moment in history is different. I remain deeply unsettled about this election. I am exceedingly grateful for any small act of kindness shown to me from a friend or stranger. I feel that I am looking for a general reassurance that most people are good and want the best for the country and each other. After all, everyone has appliances that break, computers that freeze and colds that last much too long. That may not be enough to bind people in the long run, but it was enough for two of us today.