For those of you who read my column often know, sadly, I consider Facebook the true conscience of the people of America.
The school shooting in Oregon obviously has been at the forefront of the Facebook conversation recently. And yes, I got suckered into a few back and forths about the super secret “common sense gun laws” our president rushed to the podium to push onto the American people in violation of their rights. But that’s not my point today.
Nor is my point that people on Facebook don’t have the right to their opinions. They absolutely do. And just as obvious is the fact many take to Facebook to expound on that big time. But that’s the rub. I would argue Facebook has done more to divide the American people than anything any politician could have ever dreamed. And in the end, that’s bad for the American people.
You see, the more we argue on Facebook, the less politicians have to actually hear from the American people about all the unconstitutional things they continue to do at all levels of government. Think about it: Politicians now know that no matter what they do, right or wrong, constitutional or not, ethical or not, they know the people will take to Facebook to argue instead of calling them on it. Even more for anyone with a constitutional, conservative point of view who gets a foothold, the brown-shirted Zuckerberg police force will shut them down because they possibly offended someone. And somehow this is good?
I hate to break this to anyone, but Americans have been offending Americans since before the republic was founded. Our history is replete with offense. One could argue it’s truly one of the things that made this country great. Our history is also full of stories of successful people who overcame offense, what is now called bullying (thanks again Facebook and its ilk in heightening the effect of this phenomena) and myriad other setbacks. I’d say look at Ben Carson as an example, but I wouldn’t look at Facebook. His take down is epic on both sides.
That leads to the next point. Facebook isn’t just a right versus left thing. It isn’t even a right versus wrong thing. It’s a free-for-all against anyone who thinks differently than you think thing. That attitude extends across all spectrums and topics no matter who chooses to pick the fight. What happens eventually is the back and forth ends up in name calling, swearing and much more offense than anyone could imagine ever spewing over a cup of coffee or a beer. What makes this worse is the added fact that in the grand scheme of life, absolutely NOTHING happens to actually fix a problem in society. But hey, someone got in the last word by calling me the exit end of a backside on Facebook. And somehow that’s good?
Full disclosure here: I have done all of the above. And for that I am eternally sorry to all of those I’ve actually offended. I truly am. As for those offending me? It’s OK. Because really, the lesson I’ve needed to relearn isn’t that I can be offended. It’s that being offended isn’t a reason why some law should be enacted to protect me. The offense should make me stronger and better as a person, business owner and American. I believe we should all do the same. Take the offense and be better in your life. Whatever you do, don’t ask your local politician to fix it for you because you’ll get more of the same in your life. And then you’ll get more of the same on Facebook. And then the wheels on the bus will go round and round. This is certainly not a good thing for any of us.
But as I said, Facebook is a politician’s best friend. It’s true because Facebook doesn’t increase the conversation, it deadens it. The effect of Facebook is actually mind numbing. I know a few of you’ll accuse me of injecting more than a few doses on personal Novocaine, and you’d be correct. But it doesn’t mean I won’t begin taking my personal responsibility seriously and taking the steps to detox and survive my Facebook withdrawals. One day at a time, right?
This also doesn’t mean I’ll begin taking my grievances to politicians at all levels begging for legislation against those who offend me or with who I disagree. This is about government doing its job, which in the plain-written English of our Constitution in the defense of the country and our individual rights on the federal level, respecting the will of voters and limiting the number of idiotic things on the ballot that violate individual rights on the state level and keeping the government from competing with private businesses and cronyism at the local level. And that’s just naming a few that come to mind.
It’s time we get back to where we actually talk to one another about a healthy fear of government whether it’s over coffee, beer or your beverage of choice. It’s only up close and personal where we can realize the person across the table is your equal when it comes to God-given rights. This is a good thing.
And Facebook is the ANTI-that.