Bitchin’ on Facebook is not “fighting for the cause”

I’d love to see President Trump somehow get a second term. He’s done a lot of good, I voted for him twice, I actively campaigned for him and I predicted he’d win.

But I see now – in fact, I’ve seen for over a month – that due to a combination of bad luck on COVID, bad campaigning, bad personality and bad fraud, he won’t serve a second term after all.

I’m disappointed, but that doesn’t make me a traitor. I have not turned against Trump, but simply recognized that he has lost.

Manifesting my disappointment through denial and fantasy will not help. Reality cares nothing about my feelings of disappointment. What reality cares about are my real actions to obtain a different outcome in the future, not my fervent wishes for a different outcome in the past.

In addition, just because I really wanted Trump to win doesn’t mean that his loss is the end of the world. The world goes on, as does America. If you don’t believe it, you haven’t watched the stock market lately. The Harvard MBA’s at Goldman Sachs – not exactly a foolish crew – think we’ll be OK.

Many people see it differently, or, more precisely, feel it differently. Their beliefs are dictated not by the reality of the world around them, but by their feelings. They feel passionately that Trump should win, and so they believe he will – even after he lost.

They mindlessly attack anyone whose eyes are open to reality rather than blinded by similar passion. Moreover, they think the world revolves around their desires. Because they really wanted Trump to win, they conclude it’s the end of the world if he doesn’t. As if the fate of the world hinges on their personal wants.

Such fact-impervious people do poorly in the stock market, poorly in their careers, and poorly in life.

But they do great on Facebook – that modern substitute for friends, family and reality. Facebook people and their “Facebook friends” are untethered from the constraints of realism, logic, civility, facts, personal relationships and accountability. They can and do give free rein to their fantasies.

They bludgeon anyone who dares to spoil those fantasies. They even bludgeon anyone who disputes their self-centered belief that the failure of the world to comply with their wants, means the end of the world’s existence.

This fantasy Facebook existence would not be so bad if it were just a game, but for many it’s more than that. Facebook doesn’t just supplement their real life, but replaces it. Facebook allows them to choose “friends” who confirm their fantasies, and unfriend ones who don’t.

The algorithms of Facebook also contribute to this. The algorithms learn about the user’s likes and dislikes, and then channel to the user the stuff with which the user agrees in order to entice him into more Facebook use. It’s good business for Facebook, but terrible for the distribution of objective information.

These two aspects of Facebook – the deliberate choosing of “friends” by the user who reinforce his own biases and Facebook’s own pandering to those biases – result in an echo chamber belief system. It’s a cult.

The user chooses to think – nay, feel – that his cult makes a difference. The user feels that he and his cult are fighting for the cause.

But of course, they’re not. They’re not donating money to political candidates, they’re not volunteering for phone banks or neighborhood canvas teams, they’re not serving as poll watchers, they’re not espousing their political beliefs at work where they risk disapproval, they’re not writing newspaper columns or blogs in an effort to sway the undecided people.

They’re just bitchin’ on Facebook. And sometimes they holler at the TV.

The signatories to the Declaration of Independence concluded with, “We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” The greatness they initiated and later produced was a direct result of the greatness of their prior commitment, investment, work and risk.

Today’s self-congratulatory, fantasy-filled, no-commitment, no-investment, no-work, no-risk equivalent would read something like, “Me and my lowlife Facebook ‘friends’ that I’ve never met and care nothin’ about will do a lot of Facebook bitchin’ because it’s pleasurable to fantasize that our bitchin’ will win for Trump the election he lost two months ago.”

When that “effort” fails, they won’t blame themselves. They never do. They’ll instead blame the system that they were too stupid, lazy and self-centered to operate.

I pray for a day when “I’m on Facebook” is met with the same incredulous scorn as “I’m into child pornography.” Until that day arrives, just give them dirty looks and offer them a Budweiser.

25 thoughts on “Bitchin’ on Facebook is not “fighting for the cause”

  1. This article is all based on bad personal judgement of the writer….. That’s ‘MY’ opinion…. Surrender is the cowards way out!

  2. I don’t use facebook, I do donate, I do speak up about my political beliefs.

    At least for me, this isn’t about Trump. This is about the high probability that in our country, the United States of America, one political party has successfully stolen a presidential election. Initially I thought that there was a lot of fraud in the swing states but that Biden had won. Then I read Patrick Basham’s 11/27 article in The Spectator, and decided that in fact, it was Trump who had won. While accepting the reality that Biden will likely be inaugurated this month, I do not accept as fact that Biden won the election, because he didn’t.

    • I agree. I also think we must fight fraud and cheating down to the mat. It cannot stand or we can be sure they will be emboldened to do more.

      For the record, I don’t do Facebook. I quit and am the better for it My friend’s dog pictures are not worth supporting blatant censorship and my family knows where I am. I support the president. Glenn is painting with a broad brush. I am successful in my career and investments. I also think voting on personality versus policy is stupid. I do not run on emotion.

      Glenn, you actually seem kind of emotional on this post. 🙂

  3. Interestingly enough, I just recently signed up for Facebook but only because I had to for my activities. You pretty much hit the nail on the head, except that down here in Southern Florida it’s the prostitutes, druggies and scammers who are prolific Facebookers. It’s unbelievable how much personal and private information people give out to, just as you describe, hucksters on FB who these people never met before. When I first read about the phenomenon of FB by one of the original inventors who escaped, he wrote that they actually hired psychiatrists and sociologists to determine peoples’ vulnerabilities and what would cause someone to use this type of program. It’s all set up for life’s losers to receive the rewards of “friends,” just as you described it. Thanks for the interesting read.If voting for Trump is liberal, please don’t change. Happy New Year.

  4. Hey, Beaton. Last article of yours I read you were bitchin’ about not being beloved by the AspenBeat any more because of your “conservative” views. Agree with much of your little analysis. However:

    “But I see now – in fact, I’ve seen for over a month – that due to a combination of bad luck on COVID, bad campaigning, bad personality and bad fraud, he won’t serve a second term after all.”

    Propaganda guzzler. Sell-out. Trump “lost” because of OBVIOUS FRAUD, not “bad personality” or any of your other “reasons.” Dude. The president WON according to the votes excluding BLATANT FRAUD states. Didn’t take you long to fold, did it? Aspen is a VERY expensive place to live, innit? Coward. I used to respect you — and yeah, Hoss, that SHOULD matter to you. Without eyes, you don’t have a job.

  5. My FB page is a blog that many (not all) of my FB friends follow. For that reason I’m on FB frequently, but I don’t recognize myself or any of my FB friends from Glenn’s description.

    I am not physically able to contribute to helping save America in the usual ways. I do what I can in other ways and most of that involves keeping friends informed about what’s happening. I give money where appropriate, guidance where I can, consolation where needed.

    Here’s the reality: If Biden gets sworn in, America is over. To talk as if that were NOT the case is fantasy. To project future GOP victories or Trump comebacks is fantasy. The Deep State is so pervasive, the corruption so thorough, their hatred for us so total, that no honest candidate will ever again hold major public office. Masks and lock-ins at home and business shutdowns will be permanent fixtures of life, not passing aggravations. We will be prisoners in our own homes in our own country.

    To refuse to acknowledge this is to blind yourself to what’s clearly on the horizon. People who would steal a presidential election don’t honor the same things that America-lovers do. They think the idea of America, where people go their own ways without govt supervision, is stupid. I don’t. They think they are better human material than you or I. I don’t. They think the world’s running out of resources so humanity has to be clamped down on, populations reduced, liberties withdrawn. I don’t.

    People who think that way deny God. Denying God, they admit of no limiting principle in govt or law – and that was the specific innovation of America that most surely kept govt in its place. They see nothing special about human life so they want to get in everything they can during what they see as their only existence. That attitude also excuses anything they do, anything at all.

    These are not the kind of people we want running govt. To resist them is hardly foolish; it’s fundamental.

    • You say, “Here’s the reality: If Biden gets sworn in, America is over.”

      I don’t contest that there was fraud in the election, and I don’t disagree that Biden is a stupid, corrupt doddering old man. But I think it’s hyperbolic hysteria to contend that this means America is over. This doddering old man cannot accomplish what George III, the Confederacy, the Great Depression and the Soviets failed to accomplish.

      If you really believe he can and will, I won’t argue with you. I’ll just note that the Harvard MBA’s at Goldman Sachs, and many other very, very, very smart people, disagree with you.

      And they’re not just talking; they’re betting their careers, money and lives against your position. I’m with them.

  6. Let me declare up front that I consider Facebook and Twitter to be antisocial media. We think we are more enlightened than our predecessors and more civilised, but antisocial media has exposed the worst in human nature. I wouldn’t touch it with the proverbial barge pole.

    Trump lost the election. Whether fairly or not, let historians figure it out. If the past four years of non stop left wing chatter on anti social and mainstream media and non stop violence off it is anything to go by, I’d say that conservative voices are entitled to challenge the situation for a while longer. My guess is that it won’t last too much past the 21st of this month. The angst may remain but life will move on. The skin of corruption and evil that Trump rightly called the swamp has bested him. Things will be back to what the were.

    I’ve always thought that if people had focussed more on what Trump has done for his country and less on his speech he would have done well. Perhaps if he’d had Obama’s speechwriter?

  7. Yep, left FB a couple of months ago when their censorship ‘knew no bounds’ regarding commentary on the 2020 elections. It has been a joy as now people debating me need to do it in person which raises the risk. Live your best lives and please understand the media is NOT on your side! Respectfully, and have a wonderful 2021!

  8. It’s obvious that this person DOES care what Facebook thinks, otherwise he wouldn’t be whining under his breath about how unfair it is to people like him who moisten their finger and place it in the wind to determine the course of their future convictions.

  9. I count myself among the majority of your readers who know that Trump did not “lose” the election — except in the sense that shareholders lose to massive insider trading and securities fraud — and can’t understand how you seem so blithely reconciled to such corruption.

    In writing Paradise Lost, Milton faced a dilemma. He risked portraying God as EITHER (1) having been blindsided and thoroughly outwitted by Satan, and therefore neither omniscient nor omnipotent; or (2) having not only permitted, but engineered and stage-managed The Fall, whereby He consigned His special new Creation to a history of sin, misery, and death — seemingly not well played by a supposedly “loving” Creator.

    Like all Christians, Milton went with Option 2, trusting in God’s Providence to somehow make lemonade out of Satan’s lemons. Is that your view of the present situation — that America “goes on,” as something still resembling America, with a happier ending in the future?

    I’m more inclined to see you as a cockeyed optimist along the lines of Candide or the poet Alexander Pope, who declared “WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.”

    No, things are NOT right, and my “realistic” assessment can only envision the descending darkness.

    As for your critique of our passivity, whereby we bitch on social media rather than actually doing something, mea maxima culpa, even though I parted company with Facebook some time ago. But what are YOU doing? With your power of the pen, you could be Thomas Paine, and not just another sharp-tongued, wise and witty pundit.

    • Chad, I’m struck by your opening comparison to God, Heaven and Satan. You start by suggesting that The Fall was engineered by God as part of his plan to later make lemonade out of lemons. We’ve been waiting a long time for that lemonade.

      But fine, as you note, most Christians believe what you suggest, including some very fine thinkers such as Milton. I believe it too.

      But then you suggest that no such thing is possible in America, and that it’s naive to think otherwise. That’s where we part ways.

      If all of Creation can be saved from The Fall, then it’s not naive to think America — the City on a Hill, the place that survived the Civil War and the Great Depression, the powerhouse that won the Cold War — can be saved from a doddering old fool called Biden.

      I’m as disappointed as you are that Biden won. But it would be a self-centered, vain fantasy for me to contend that my disappointment = the end of America.

      I’m in good company, and not just with the likes of Milton (though he alone is pretty good company). The Harvard MBA’s at Goldman Sachs who vote with their money and not their mouths think America will be fine.

      All that said, and despite my disagreement, your comment is truly profound. Thanks.

      • O me of little faith. You snagged the flaw in my reasoning, and in my personality.
        Well done. But perhaps we are expected to be a little more “militant”?

  10. I get that, Chad.

    “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
    — B. Goldwater

    I promise to be extreme in my defense of liberty, and not to moderate in my pursuit of justice. But only when I think I can win. My efforts — and yours — are too limited to waste on lost causes.

  11. The flaw in this article is that you admit “bad fraud”. I acknowledge the possibility that the fraud wasn’t bad enough to change the outcome but I believe it was. Therefor I believe the election was outright stolen and if it is not rectified, there will never be another national election in this country again. Not the end of the world but it is the end of the USA.

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