People get pissy over the way Trump insults people so freely, but here’s the thing: I would do the same thing in almost every single instance. The only difference is, I might not do it as well. If I’ve never insulted you personally, don’t kid yourself that I wouldn’t. Give me a reason, insult me first, and I’ll hit you back harder than you hit me. Words are the same as fists in that regard; if you take a swing at me, don’t think I’m just going to accept it with a smile. You’re going to get hit too.
If I feel there’s a reason (e.g. if you insult me first) then there won’t be any hesitation or any chance of mistaken notions that I’m somehow a nicer guy than someone like Trump. I’m not. So if you don’t want me to fling insults at you, then go by this rule: don’t fling any at me.
That kind of thing has been almost completely non-existent from the folks who comment on my posts, with one recent exception. In the first post on Criticizing a Caricature, some guy commented with his opinion, challenging mine. I replied, politely and reasonably holding my ground – I might be swayed if someone presents me with new information, or points out an angle I hadn’t seen before, but I don’t change my opinions solely on the basis of someone disagreeing.
Anyways, he apparently didn’t like my reply because in his next comment he decided to tell me that my kind of “faux intellectual garbage” was the reason he walked away from political blogging.
Oh, and that “people like me” disgust him.
So because I demolished the points he tried to raise in his first comment, he decided to replace any actual criticism with that. And given the way I ripped his position to shreds (I was both civil and comprehensive in my reply), it’s inexcusable. I gave him the benefit of the time I took to write out my response, and he came back at me with exactly zero counters to my perspective.
If you want to read it for yourself, look for the comments left by “Elusive Trope”.
What I’m getting at is, I don’t mind insults because two can play at that game, and it’s always good to have a little fun if someone decides to be an asshole. I do mind the absence of an actual fair response though, the absence of reciprocating the amount of thought, facts, and time I put into replying to them. I mind the lack of anything resembling a direct reply to the points I raised and the points of theirs that I countered into oblivion with accurate representation of the facts.
Elusive Trope’s condescending, spiteful remarks aren’t that important and they’re not the point. The point is if you’re a fucking adult, a few insults are well within your ability to handle.
There’s no reason to be a baby about it, or to be a surrogate baby for some public figure or celebrity who got insulted by Donald Trump. And whether you ignore an insult (as a counter insult) or insult someone back directly, you should recognize that there are different ways to handle it, that you don’t hold the moral high ground if you’re preferred way happens to be more passive than mine, more like a welcome mat people can walk all over as they please.
The fucking point, is that his insults don’t defeat my position by themselves. It remains standing. And personally, I like giving people a reason to think twice before they start blindly talking shit at me. I prefer that people mind their manners or, at the very least, apply some accurate information and clear reasoning to their position. Otherwise you’re insults aren’t going to mean shit, and someone like me is going to outwit, out-troll, and ridicule you. Kind of like I did to the Trope.
The insulting part of it might have gone unnoticed by me if he seemed to have a good reason for it, for wanting to insult me, but sadly, it was another case of criticizing a caricature. First a caricature of Trump, then of me, (deliberately?) taking what I said the wrong way and making a number of assumptions, both about me and about the subject of the post and discussions.
It wasn’t like he went on a long tirade either (that’s why I described it as being “mild”) but it’s still rude and a complete cop out. It’s not my fault he couldn’t come up with any angle, any reasoning, to counter my perspective. That’s on him. I’m not going to bother wasting any more time talking about him though. This is about insults, and about people being babies about them.
Look at the way I talk about this guy, the way I responded to him. I’m not complaining, I’m just topping off the mildly insulting response I gave in return with a (hopefully embarrassing) mention as an example of the kind of person who deserves to be insulted. See the thing is, insults are a-okay in my book, just not as a substitute for direct or factually based criticisms.
They can be thrown into the mix, blended into a good intellectual challenge as part of a package deal, and I’m fine with that. I’ll return the favor though, and if there’s no intellectual effort to go along with the insults directed at me, then I’ll insult back in whatever way I see fit. Usually I include clear reasoning for my opinion anyways (insulting someone doesn’t exclude my ability to do that), but once blind, unjustified insults against me are in play all bets are off.
If you’re going to insult someone, don’t bitch when they insult you back.
That, and ultimately, they’re just insults. If you don’t like playing in the mud then don’t, but I don’t think people need to make them out to be more than they are either. That’s making mountains out of mole hills and it’s a total waste of time imo. If someone hurts your feelings, get over it.