I appreciate the comments on my previous article “Tolerance and respectful language.” I want to expand on one of my comments:
If you say anything nasty about birthers on a birther blog, that becomes the issue. They basically make an ad hominem response: What you say is worthless because your are insulting. You see similar responses all over this blog too.
I will be the first to say that nothing whatever works to talk sense to a birther on a birther blog. It is a lose-lose proposition; however, trash talk gives them a very easy out. If you stick solely to the facts and talk respectfully, they have no choice but to try to refute the facts or what most do–delete your comment, or in some cases provoke them to outrageous trash talk themselves. Here’s an example of no response at Birther Report (about the only place I’m allowed to comment):
Dr. Conspiracy: Whatever one might say about Orly Taitz, one must admit that she is a very inexperienced lawyer, and an inexperienced lawyer is simply not able to take on state governments, the US Attorney, and political parties who have highly-trained and experienced attorneys.
She continues to have basic problems with the rules in the courts where she litigates. My advice to her, and I have given it to her directly, is to hire an experienced lawyer. It is certainly in no one’s interest for her to file 20 lawsuits, only to have them dismissed for errors in law, errors in service and failing to follow court rules. I think that in all of her lawsuits, only one was actually adjudicated on the merits (Farrar v. Obama in Georgia) and even then her evidence was largely ignored because she failed to qualify her witnesses (plus the Superior court said that even that case should have been dismissed). She is just wasting her own time and the courts’ time by trying to do things she doesn’t know how to do.
Being nice infuriates many birthers. Being nasty enforces their stereotypes. St. Paul wrote in Romans Chapter 12 (ESV):
To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
That is my model if not always my practice. (I should print that out and paste it to my monitor.)
When I was about 16, my school was integrated–a couple of black kids came who were the vanguard of the eventual end of racially designated schools in my town. While racial segregation was accomplished without the nastiness seen in some communities, a proposal was put to the small Southern Baptist church of which I was a member to start a Christian school as an alternative to the public school. There seemed to be considerable support for the new school in the business meeting, and those speaking for it made it clear that it wasn’t about race, but the reasons given didn’t make a lot of sense. So I got up and said that since the new school wasn’t proposed because of integration, that it would be a good thing to make that clear by inserting into the school charter that the school would be open to students of any race. One of the proponents of the Christian school turned red and his veins started popping out; he stood up and said something about killing them all with machine guns before one [something] came into the school. People were so appalled by what he said that all support for the school evaporated and the idea of a Christian school at that church was dropped and didn’t come up again for 20 years. Good things can come of the bad guy losing it in the face of a reasonable statement. Here are examples of birthers losing it in the face of a moderate comment:
Dr. Conspiracy: It would have been helpful if Orly Taitz had filed her notice of default, the lower court order, and her proof of service along with her motion for mandamus. Oh well.
Tom Thumb: You have pancreatic cancer.
I find it much more satisfying to have a sound comment deleted, than to have trash talk held up as emblematic of the Obots and their ways. That said, I lose my temper sometimes too.
Another problem is persistence of dialog. Birther Report is an example of a web site that sends you email notifications of replies to your comments, but links back to them don’t work. As a result, replying to a comment is labor intensive, and more labor intensive as time passes and the article scrolls of their front page. Whether birther or anti-birther, failing to reply is a declaration of victory for the other side. In the following instance, I hadn’t even commented on the thread where this comment appears:
Birther1: Yes fogblow and Doctor Conspiracy suck. Ever since I challenge (sic) the Doctor and pointed out his misleading info he has disappeared. Stay away Doc.
I’ve found in Google searches today a number of instances at Birther Report where challenges were made to me that I didn’t answer, but could have if I had known about them.
My all-time favorite exchange at BR/ORYR (and what follows does not include the whole thing) was started by me in an non-abrasive way and continued:
Dr. Conspiracy: … Secretaries of State, both Democrat and Republican, have been sued by plaintiffs trying to force them to verify eligibility of presidential candidates. All said that in their states, the law doesn’t require them to do that. Some have gone so far as to say that state law PREVENTS them from doing this. One Secretary of State, Ken Bennett, decided on his own that he DID need to verify Obama’s eligibility, and he requested and obtained a verification from Hawaii that satisfied him.
So how do you deal with the fact that one state Secretary of State verified Obama’s eligibility?
Not easily fooled: You are a dissembling degenerate …
Guest: Go back over to your own site where your brand of bullshit is welcomed. You are not wanted or welcome here.
Guest: Dr. Conspiracy is a sneaky, sleazy slinky too! …
Dr. Conspiracy: And I thought we could be friends.
NBCofUSA: So but the good news is Doc Conspiracy looks pasty, flatulent, probably a congestive heart failure candidate, who will get, if he’s lucky, a few years of poorly-dosed digoxin and diuretics as he weakens and then he’ll get a send-home pill (or hint hint as leftwing PBS keeps pushing on its endless runs of "how to suicide" programs, use some party-balloon helium, take a big whiff, but tie your hands so you don’t autonomically jerk your mask away as you pass out and die and wind up in a coma–but Embalmacare will take care of that situation too by dehydration, it’s just ugly).
Doc Failure is a disgusting troll who deserves the Yuri Bezmenov "useful idiot" treatment. He thinks he’s going to share in the power of tyrant Obama. Ha.
There were some comments omitted from the birthers that were not nasty and unlike the ones selected, and I gave a number of well-reasoned and politely expressed responses in addition to these. But where the birthers went nasty, it was a stark contrast to what I was doing, a contrast that should be obvious to posterity and I hope appalling to more moderate birthers.