Something has been nagging at me for a while. And usually when something is nagging at me during the quiet moments of my day, it means I need to blog about it. For the last few weeks I have been fighting the urge (fighting because saying things out loud, even to admit them to myself makes them real) to admit that Pres Obama is disappointing me. I feel like he’s letting me down, like he’s taken refuge inside the white house bunker recently, and left me out here in the cold by myself.
And then I was talking to my lovely friend Margaret this weekend about these exact sentiments and her fantasy about Obama finally giving the finger to the republican party (who now seem to be holding the government hostage to get their way), and the discussion changed to what happens on the internet. Because I would love to talk about how Obama is disappointing me, how the attitude he ran with, the attitude I voted for, is not the attitude he’s leading with. How he is coming off luke-warm in the press and how I haven’t seen his rally cry in his entire 2nd year. How I want him to succeed, how I still have a glimmer of hope, but how ultimately I’m feeling let down. But the internet creates a space for anonymity, for icky negative comments that don’t have anything to do with discussing these ideas, these opinions, but instead have all to do with stomping on someone else. Whether it be another commenter or me. Why do posts that not everyone agrees with create so much anger? And not just disagreement, but hostility? And not just on my blog, but across the board. Hate mail, aggressive comments, and trolls are everywhere. What happened to just being nice to people even if they don’t agree with you?
These are my questions today. In the future (or hell, even now) I may be wrong, or misinformed and I may be showing my ignorance in a public space. But I’ll be the first to learn and admit when I’m out of line, or need to update my facts so it’s ok to disagree with me, but it’s just not ok to threaten or call names or belittle, because that’s when people stop listening.