From Both Sides

I spend a lot of time on Facebook on my poetry sites, and a lot of time arguing about politics. Usually on the poetry sites there’s not a great deal of argument. People either say ‘nice poem’ or nothing at all. There is the occasional criticism, but that’s not a great conversation starter, either. If somebody says “Your poetry sucks” I don’t really have a comeback. That’s an opinion, so they’re not necessarily wrong.
On politics, of course, I usually find myself arguing with right wingers, because they are so totally in the wrong…not just in their opinions, but in the facts they base those opinions on. Not only is their personal philosophy of life (I’ve got mine, Jack. Fuck off) immoral, but they very often do not have a clue what they are talking about. As argument goes, it is too easy. As far as communication goes…well, it’s not communication.
Today, however, I wound up on the other side, on two subjects. There was the guy who said “Walt Disney was a well documented racist and Nazi sympathizer.” I’d heard this before, but I kind of took issue with the phrase well-documented. So, I took the first step and went to Wikipedia. I know this is not considered real research, but I learned a lot about his life, so it was an educational afternoon. Wikipedia addressed, and pretty much dismissed the rumors. So, I pointed this out and the guy actually came back with some documentation. Not great documentation, it was a book that sort of sounded (I looked up the book, too) like a collection of conspiracy theories, starting with Hitler surviving WWII and living happily ever after in South America. I’m still not convinced, but the guy did come up with a quote out of the book from a Disney employee, and all of the words in his post were spelled correctly, so it was more interesting than arguing with the right wingers.
The other topic was Japanese internment camps. I’m not saying they were a good thing, or justifiable, but I rather resented people saying FDR was a horrible president, a racist monster, and not progressive at all. I pointed out that the camps were not exactly the same as Hitler’s concentration camps, and that FDR did do a lot of good, progressive things. Well, long story short, I am apparently the world’s worst racist.
That was, actually, exactly like arguing with right wingers.

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