CONCERNING WHATABOUTISM & TROLLS

by Merl Moore (MerlMoore@mail.com)

  While casually connected (and you'll see how later in the piece) there are two pretty much dissimilar things I want to talk about here in the following piece, neither of which alone deserves a whole article. My thinking is that maybe by putting them both together in a single article it will make the whole piece in the aggregate worthy of your time. Anyway, I hope so.  
 
 First I'd like to address “WHATABOUTISM.” This, as I'm sure you're all quite aware, is the habit of deflecting the question asked of you away from yourself and the actual subject at hand and slinging it all back at your preferred target. As in: “So, what are you going to do about Russian interference in the election, President Trump?” “What am I going to do? Well, just exactly what is Hillary going to do about Russian interference? That's what you should be asking!” This is, of course, entirely ridiculous. What is Hillary going to do about Russian interference in the election, Mr. Trump? Probably nothing as she lost the election and isn't running the government, you lying, ignorant, racist, stupid, sack of sh-t.
 
 I mean, seriously, isn't this a debating tactic that most of us had disabused ourselves of entirely by age 11 (if not before). Has the argument, “I know I'm late for dinner again, but, Mommy, what about Tommy? Mrs. Brady lets him stay out as long as he wants! It's just not fair, Mommy!” ever ended in, “You know, you have a valid point there, son. I mean, if Mrs. Brady allows it, well, okay then, go on out, have fun! I guess I'll see you when I see you. Your dinner will be in the oven! Remember, it's a school-night!” Never said anyone's mother EVER. (And, I should also point out that this was never Mrs. Brady's practice with Tommy no matter what I might have said 40+ years ago.)
 
 I know what some of you are probably saying right now: “Wait a sec here, buddy. President Trump and his people are not 10 year olds so of course they've never said anything so absurd, especially after Trump had won the election! Plainly that'd be crazy-talk!”   
 
 Really? You think Trump and his surrogates and supporters never say anything like that, anything that absurd, that off-the-point, something “crazy,” after he'd won the office? Really?
 
 If you believe that you need to watch this: https://youtu.be/BwC-zYo4140. Could anyone get anymore “whatabout,” than this woman, Stephanie Hamill? “How do you feel about your bosses immigration policy in regard to Haiti?” “Well, what about Hillary murdering this Haitian guy!?!” And the worst part of it all is that there are seemingly endless examples of this pitiful maneuver from the very top, the President himself (blob:https://www.washingtonpost.com/eee83d4a-df3d-4e82-8ba2-47c69acc2780 - WHY DO YOU KEEP TALKING ABOUT HILLARY, YOU FAT, STUPID, PIG!), all the way down to the lowliest member of the administration (https://youtu.be/XxJFMCjpgxQ - HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU MENTION OBAMA!?!). I'm more than half-expecting Trump or one of his surrogates to answer the next tough or embarassing question with, “Oh yeah!?! Well, your Mother wears Army boots!”
 
 (NOTE: The above referenced Youtube clip is Stephanie Hamill's, the actual “whatabout” woman here, her actual Youtube post, therefore this clip is edited exactly the way she wanted it edited, so if she comes off looking like a complete whatabout-idiot – and in my opinion she does – it's all on her. And perhaps most significantly, later in the clip, once she's allowed to return, she only specifically addresses the subject at hand, i.e.: immigration and the Trump administration.)
 
 Here's my final word on “WHATABOUTISM”: Hence forth all future “whataboutisms” must end in “Mommy.” As in: “So what are you going to do about Iraq, Mr. President?” “Why don't you ask Hillary what she's going to do about Iraq, Mommy!?!” Or: “What are Republicans going to do about the DACA kids and CHIP funding, Cabinet Member?” “Why don't you ask the Democrats what they're going to do about DACA and CHIP, Mommy!?!”
 
 The point being: If you're going to argue the way only an 8 year old child would argue you must also speak like an 8 year old child from now on. It's only fair and reasonable.
 
 Since we're all ready on the subject (CONNECTION!), let's keep the immature, childish behavior theme going and talk a little bit about our second topic: “Right-Wing, Alt-Right, and Russian On-Line Trolls.”   
 
 The renowned existential philosopher, playwright, novelist, political activist, biographer, and literary critic Jean-Paul Sartre (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Paul_Sartre), wrote, “Never believe that (they) are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. (They) have the right to play.
 
 “They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.”
 
 Sartre wrote those words in 1944, decades before there were such things as “On-Line Trolls” or On-Line anything, and he wrote those remarks specifically about anti-Semites (“Anti-Semite and Jew,” by Jean-Paul Sartre – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Semite_and_Jew), so it's not about on-line trolls, of course, but the sentiments are, by and large, the same. And moreover, does anyone seriously think even for a second that there's even a small sliver of difference between anti-Semite Nazis in 1944 – or neo-Nazis of today, if you want to be frank –  and today's Right-Wing/Alt-Rights? Of course there isn't!
 
 Take Milo Yiannopoulos, self-described political commentator, publisher, celebrity, blogger, journalist, (failed) author, and (up until, see below...) general “Poster Boy” for the Alt-Right (https://youtu.be/lImHh7fqrQo). Another label Milo embraces wholeheartedly is “Provocateur.” And what does a provocateur do? He provokes a reaction. But that's not exactly a real talent or skill is it? Any idiot can upset and “disconcert” a group of rational people and get a reaction. Go to any predominantly ethnic neighborhood and shout ethic slurs and you'll get a reaction, but so what? It proves nothing (except maybe that you're an idiot).
 
 In the following clip from “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Yiannopoulos claims to be only concerned with Trans-Men threatening poor little girls in the Women's Bathroom, https://youtu.be/3cDLflyQ8TA, which, Milo claims, is what caused such a stir at UC-Berkeley; i.e.: Milo defending poor little girls.   
 
 However, just a very few months later Milo was forced out at Breitbart (and pretty much everything else he was attached to) because he said that older gay men should take underage boys under their wings (or something like that). Did Milo give a f-ck about little girls/trans-men/and women's bathrooms? Of course not! He was just yanking chains for his own amusement!
 
 So that's your f-cking talent, troll? Every 12 year old has that same talent, you idiot! The fact is that these trolls, whether they're Alt-right or Russian are all yanking our collective chain and for no other reason than to yank our chain so as to upset and “disconcert” us and they're having a great time in the process.
 
 So here's the bottom line: The next time you get trolled, don't get into an argument – you'd get more satisfaction arguing with a wall – just say/write, “Begone, Troll! Go back to Russia! Putin's cock misses your mouth!” And if you can (i.e.: Twitter and Facebook), block them (but do make sure to give them enough time to read your response – you can yank chains too!).