I'm a frequent lurker but only an occasional poster here. I doubt this diary presents a story that hasn't played out many times before, unfortunately, but perhaps what I've written to one of my zombified "Obama is a dictator like Hitler" former friends on Facebook will be cathartic to some of you. As for myself, I saw this event coming for a while and wasn't looking forward to it, but I must say at this point my main feeling is that of relief. I've learned that discussions with such people never go anywhere, and I've grown tired of putting energy into writing responses that just bounce off the other person. The full story follows...
I've known "R" since high school and been in touch over the years only occasionally. We've been "friends" on Facebook for a while. As far as I've ever been able to tell, he's basically a well-meaning person but has left the occasional oddball (and vaguely insulting) comment on my Facebook page, and I've suspected for some time he may have succumbed to hate radio or the like. A few days ago he posted some garbage about how Obama is a petty dictator "like in Germany in 1934" and I commented back that he should know better than to make such a ridiculous comparison--that disagreeing with a politician, even to the point of concern or anger, doesn't make that politician Hitler. There have since been more messages back and forth, and having grown tired of the seemingly willful and proud ignorance displayed in responses by R and some of his other friends on Facebook, I finally decided to write this:
"R, there's no nice way to put this: I'm unfriending you. If you'd care to know why, read on. If you plan a rebuttal, please don't bother. There's a profound ugliness that has touched our country and reached critical mass over the last 10-20 years, an angry ugly ideology bashing the poor, the unemployed, the uninsured, and minorities, among others. It has a vice grip on apparently about 20-30 percent of the population, judging from political polls and so on, and those unfortunates can generally be summed up thus: right wing media consumers. You obviously can't tell that it's hit you right between the eyes, but I can see it a mile away.
I see it in parroted bits of gobbledygook like 'obummer' and 'your islamic president' and 'obama is like hitler' and a million other inane things that you and your crowd can apparently no longer tell give you away. I have true pity for you but I'm tired of seeing that crap splash up on my computer screen when I open an email or log into Facebook. I'm not going to argue about it with you, and I'm not going to waste more time discussing it, other than to write this message.
People like you who've been infected will either snap out of it at some point, at which time you're welcome to get back in touch, or hang onto the ignorance and bigotry, in which case you're not welcome to. Perhaps in 2016, when an election is held to determine Obama's successor and he really does step down like no real dictator would (apparently the continued existence of an outspoken opposition party in full control of the House, the Supreme Court, and big chunks of the news media isn't convincing enough), you and people like you will realize how idiotic, not to mention inaccurate, your comments during these eight years have been. I'm not holding my breath though. But I will be happier with a smaller circle of true friends who don't remind me constantly how far so many of my fellow citizens have fallen. Good luck to you in what must seem to you to be a very confusing and frightening world.
As a final point of interest: I'll be posting this message (without your name) as part of a diary on a political website called DailyKos. The website was started by a former Army soldier and ex-Republican who woke up a while back and decided to fight for his country in a different venue. You might want to check this website out, as you may find that you're exposed there to ideas with a bit more intellectual heft than the crowd you've been hanging out with lately. They're not all 'obamabots' or whatever your current lingo is, and there's quite a bit of healthy back-and-forth there. But it is a community that prides itself on being reality-based, and there's little interest there in parroted slogans and rhetorical shortcuts like the “obama is like hitler” nonsense. You mentioned recently you miss intellectual conversation in your life, and judging by what I've seen some of your Facebook friends scrawling in response to my remarks there, I can see why. How about aiming a little higher?"