Social Media: The Persona Non Grata Mentality of The Liberal Left
Social Media: The Persona Non Grata Mentality of The Liberal Left
A few days back, a writer by a nom de plume, Barrett Wilson penned a commentary in The Federalist. Wilson, a former Social Justice Warrior, discovered how intolerant his left-leaning friends could be.
“…I was mobbed and shamed out of my lefty, social justice community for “toxic behavior” on Twitter (in a straight-up Justine Sacco-style event).
…I started thinking about just how many people I had lost in my life over the last year or two. It’s got to be in the hundreds. People who have known me for 20 years or more, who said they loved me, who took care of me and let me take care of them, are all mostly gone now. For many, it’s a matter of their own social survival. Guilt by association is a h-ll of a thing.”-Barrett Wilson
Why was he ghosted by his social-justice-liberal-warrior posse? He said the wrong things. He dared to disagree. Just like that, 20-year friendships went up in flames.
Since I was mobbed out of my social justice community, I've found that conservatives are more kind, forgiving, and open-minded people than my old crew. I've found friendship and acceptance despite disagreement. I can't get in trouble anymore for saying so—so I'm saying so.
— Barrett Wilson 白左 (@BarrettWilson6) February 1, 2019
Who can blame the liberals for kicking him out of their clique? After all, “those people” (Republicans) are bigots. They don’t like abortion. They voted for Trump. They’re straight-up dumb and not on the same plane. The educated elite cannot align themselves with anyone who agrees with any values that remotely resemble the Conservative Republican platform.
Wilson’s piece got me thinking about some 25 years back, when I was a college student. My friends were liberal (pseudo) intellectuals. Some were a bit pretentious and admittedly, at that time, I was enamored with them. For years I struggled with not being “cerebral” enough (a joke now that I look back on and remember came from a loser that I dated for about 9-months). I was mocked for being “simple” for wanting to be married and have a family down the road. Ironically, all of them married before I did. All of them were in heterosexual relationships. There were no gay weddings. They all were white. The group was not ethnically diverse; in fact, one of my friends commented on this at one point in time and it got me thinking.
I so wanted to be part of the intellectual “thinkers”. So, I made sure I said the right things, supported the right “causes”. While I was working two (sometimes three) jobs to keep up with bills and going to school, some of my friends were bankrolled by their parents. They continued to be well into their 30s and when their parents finally cut them off because they wanted to enjoy retirement and the fruits of their labor, they complained how the government should be taking care of them because they spent money on useless degrees and now can’t pay back their student loans. Realistically, while it may sound impressive, there is only so much one can do with a degree in philosophy. I started feeling inauthentic in my sympathies towards their plight and bitter because they had a head-start with cash infusions from parents who could afford to furnish living expenses while they concentrated on one thing and one thing only-their college education. They didn’t work. They didn’t have a car payment. They didn’t have to buy groceries. Life was simple in The Bubble. There was no responsibility, no accountability. Everyone did what felt right.
In the years that followed, I moved across the country and met my husband-a man who worked through high school and joined the Marine Corps so he could go to college and become an aviator. His family also did not have the means to provide him with the bougie lifestyle where his sole responsibility was making it to class at the university after a night of heavy drinking. He drove trucks. He delivered pizzas. He went to war. While he was at war and I was working (before the surge of social media), I made the mistake of sending what I thought was a funny farting guy joke to my female friends via e-mail. My joke was met by a long tirade of a response from one of my friends from Bubble Island about how it was “demeaning” and how her husband will never be “like that”. Sigh. When Facebook came into existence, I posted a photo of a World War II vet standing for the National Anthem while some 20-something slacker sat it out. I was subsequently told in a comment by another resident of The Bubble that I was “guilt tripping”. I wanted to ask him if his child was ever without a father for months at a time but then I remembered that he didn’t have children. About a year or so back, the same friend who accused me of my “demeaning farting man joke” came at me on a news site because I made mention that the premise of the “Shout Your Abortion” movement was disgusting. She also does not have children. I found the attacks from these peace-loving hippie types out of left field. I was not looking to fight with them but they were angry and not looking for spirited debate-they were actively looking for battle and picking it with someone they’ve known through the years-not just a random stranger. What was up with this?!
The intolerance grew increasingly worse. During the 2016 election, I saw a Facebook post (following suit to a writer who disowned Trump-voting friends) from one of the residents of The Bubble stating that she had no tolerance for friends or friends of friends who voted for Trump. I’ve seen downright hateful, violent and vulgar language pointing at Christians and Jesus Christ Himself. Would they say the same of Allah or Buddha? It’s doubtful. I saw the entitlement that went along with some of these rants about our economy combined with threats and dreams of moving to Canada (by all means, GO). I saw love on their part only for those in their “tribe”. Sympathy and support was only for those whose beliefs were lined up with their own. If you voted for Trump, are pro-life, pro 2A, pro-America (just one or a combination of these), they will not acknowledge your milestone birthday or laugh at your 13 year-old’s shenanigans. Heck, they won’t even like your cat pictures or cry with you when you lose your 19 year-old feline! If your profession lies in a liberal-leaning field like mine once was, you just might find that you have a hard time getting a job or just getting the support you need after taking a few years off to be a mom. You are persona non grata to them. You are no longer fun at cocktail parties (even though you know that’s a big fat lie).
YOU have been voted off the island.
Barrett Wilson’s departure from his social justice circle of sheltered individuals brought about an epiphany that many liberals could stand to learn from:
“And I suppose that’s why I have forged meaningful friendships with conservatives. The policing of language and shutting down of open inquiry has never been more popular among the modern left. Say the wrong thing or associate with the wrong person, and the left will lose you. It seems today’s conservatives are more moderate than today’s liberals. That’s quite the thought.
Even in our more intense disagreements (abortion, rights, trans rights, guns) my conservative friends have never aggressively lashed out at me, deplatformed me, unpersoned me, or tried to ruin my livelihood. They understand how important forgiveness and redemption will be if we are ever going to move on from these divisive times.”-Barrett Wilson
Since becoming a Conservative, I have expanded my friendship circle. My group of friends at church spans a wide spectrum of ethnically diverse backgrounds-more than my social circle in college ever did. I have switched career focus and it feels good. I have a new community of pilot wives who again, are culturally diverse but aligned in a common set of Conservative values. I still have liberal friends who know where I stand and we can respectfully still enjoy a beer and some laughs together. I am no longer hurt or offended by other liberal friends of years past unpersoning me. Trying to be something I clearly wasn’t was downright exhausting. While I know there is no point in arguing with them and debate is moot, I will continue to be sympathetic and supportive to them when they post and ask for it. If they haven’t deleted me, I will continue to like their posts in times of happiness and cheer them on. They may not have the emotional wherewithal to do the same and that is okay.
I do not regret my departure from Bubble Island. Not one bit. In fact, I got a one-way ticket out of there. Sunshine and rainbows for only some with a sprinkle of intolerance, anger, hate and desire to silence the rest of humankind for disagreeing is not the way I choose to live my life. Hopefully, some liberals will wake up from their hammock naps, realize the relationships they’ve thrown away and hop on the next aircraft out of there before AOC’s New Green Deal becomes a reality. If not, they may be forced to actually swim.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Creative Commons-Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)