I’m very slow to anger, and with reason — I’m a mean angry person. I don’t do the liberal thing of wishing people dead or threatening them or imagining violence or bloodshed. When I’m hot under the collar, though, I up the rhetorical ante, big time, usually with high doses of sarcasm. I almost always regret my outbursts. In political arguments, I don’t usually regret the veracity of what I argue, but I do regret losing control of myself. I tend to offend my opponent, rather than convince him or her
I did that on facebook today. I got my first push back on the “liberals are mean too” meme that I’ve been challenging the Tucson shooting. One gal asserted that the whole thing was Glenn Beck’s fault, because he says vile things. I countered with quotations from those on the Left, quotations imagining murder, bloodshed and rapine.
She came back with a response that boiled down to “nobody should say mean things, but it’s all Glenn Beck’s fault because he says vile things.” I asked for examples, and again provided evidence of the blood thirsty imaginings on the Left.
In her response, not only did she repeat herself, she accused me of incivility, oversimplification, and condescension. I should have quit there, but I didn’t. I got mad, and I got sarcastic. No violence, no threats. I just stated and/or implied that she was ill-informed, bombastic and foolish. I immediately regretted doing so. She was ill-informed, bombastic and foolish, but calling her those names didn’t advance my argument. Instead, I merely inflated her already overweaning sense of self-righteousness.
Now, I feel like a bully for having attacked someone with no information, no logical skills and no rhetorical skills. I should have been either slower to anger, or less mean when angry.
I need some chocolate. And a dog cuddle. Mr. Bookworm will not be sympathetic.