The internet has become a toxic place for me.
Well, Facebook specifically.
There’s just over two months left until the presidential elections, and it seems as though the social media site has gone mad. Don’t get me wrong, I love politics as much as the next person, but what I’m seeing on Facebook is just ridiculous.
Logging onto my Facebook account has gone from being an enjoyable addiction to being an act of masochism. It triggers my depressive episodes, which leaves me incapable of being productive in the real world or finding joy in almost anything (I seriously wish I were exaggerating here, talk to Chad if you don’t believe me). Thus, I’ve decided to deactivate my account, at least until the elections are over. I enjoy Twitter and Tumblr much more anyway, and it’s not like I need any more social media sites to distract me from my schoolwork.
But I do want to say just a few things, before I deactivate. Actually, I’m going to rant, because this has been building up inside of me for a while now, and I need to vent. So if you’re not in the mood to read a lot of angry liberal diatribe, I’d stop reading now (you’ve been warned 😉 ):
1) We’re at the end of his first term, and Obama still hasn’t taken away anyone’s guns. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has given President Obama an F on their gun control report card because of his kow-towing to gun lobbyists. So please stop using this fear of being disarmed as an excuse to vote against him?
2) Obama hasn’t forcibly converted anyone to Islam, or done ANYTHING to suggest he’s a Muslim. Let me be clear: I would have no problem if he were. There are plenty of intelligent, compassionate, hardworking Muslims who I’d much rather see in the White House than many Christians I know, and Islam is no more inherently problematic a faith than Christianity is. That being said, it’s also a very works-based religion, and not even Fox News or Glenn Beck has been able to find Obama praying towards Mecca (which he should have been doing five times a day, every day, for the last four years), or fasting during Ramadan, to name two of the more conspicuous pillars of Islam. So either he’s the Christian he says he is, or he’s such a bad Muslim that the title is pointless. That, and I am still just as free to worship like I choose as I always have been. So let’s move on from that, too.
3) Please, please, please stop using “We Built It” as a motto, Republicans. It just makes you look ridiculous, because the whole premise of using that as your catchphrase is based on a clip of the president that was edited to make him look bad. You don’t want to hang this election on a catchphrase that requires deception in order to work. And good LORD can we get some Sociological imagination up in this country? You’ve all clearly demonstrated that you do HAVE imaginations, because you were totally fine with watching Clint Eastwood talk to an empty chair for fifteen minutes, and because you are still finding ways to convince yourselves our President is a foreigner.
Because no, you didn’t build your business by yourself. And this quote from Elizabeth Warren perfectly explains why not:
4) Social immobility is becoming a fact of life in this country at the same time that gross income inequality is becoming calcified in our class structure. We’re no longer the land of opportunity, the land where anyone can pull themselves up by the bootstraps to become a rags-to-riches story. (And, let’s be honest, even in the past, the institutionalized sexism and racism that can still be felt in our society meant that almost all the rags-to-riches stories were written by white men anyway.) Does it still happen? Sure. But we need to face facts, and stop acting like the only barrier to insane wealth for everyone is that poor people would rather drink than work. People are often poor, not because they’re lazy, or stupid, or deserve to be, but because they have been held down by institutionalized problems that need institutionalized solutions. And until you accept that, your hollow “concern” about the poor isn’t going to feel like anything but a slap in the face.
5.) You don’t get to insist that this country’s laws be based on Judeo-Christian values, then whip up a McCarthy-esque fear that Muslims are trying to do the same thing with their religious values. It’s hypocritical, alienating, and dangerous. Also, there’s plenty of Christians (myself included) who don’t want a government based on your reactionary interpretation of Christian values, which focus on a narrow interpretation of a few verses about homosexuality (and none on abortion) while ignoring the hundreds of verses that call for us to care for the poor.
Corrollary- You don’t get to claim that taxpayer-funded charity programs are bad because morality should not be mandated by the government, and then turn around and try to mandate morality through the government with pro-life and anti-gay laws. You just don’t.
6.) Facts are not debatable. That’s the whole point. You don’t get to construct an alternate reality just because that reality is easier to swallow than the one everyone else lives in. Also, please stop hating on science, education, and critical thinking skills. It leaves one wondering why a political movement would feel the need to hate on things like education and critical thinking, and there aren’t a lot of good answers to that.
7.) Everything in this video:
Actually, just watch everything Jon Stewart’s done for the past week. It’s worth the time.
The world is a good and beautiful place, full of good and beautiful people, and I need to step back and appreciate that. Facebook has been turning me into a person I don’t want to be, and this is the best next step for me to take. It’s nothing against any one person, but I just need to immerse myself in a positive environment right now.
(That being said, positive comments are highly encouraged for this post. Seriously. I’m not fishing for compliments, but genuine words of encouragement would go a long way right now.)
And there’s no better way to get positive than with puppies, so here we go: