Kady, I’m giving you a lot of applause not because I agree with you or because you’re American [ha!], but because I appreciate your helping me course correct in my own tone going forward.

Look: I have a knee jerk reaction to the following groups —

  1. People who think HRC was a great candidate and that anyone who disagrees with them deserves a special place in Hell. I was a Bernie supporter who ended up voting Green in a Blue state to throw away my vote rather than vote for HRC or for Trump.
  2. People who argue against more gun control and government studies about gun violence. I believe you can regulate guns more effectively, reducing gun violence, without exposing the 2nd Amendment for what it was intended and what, until recently, it was used to defend.
  3. Various forms of superficial supremacy [involving skin color, genitalia, what kind of genitalia the people you love have, National origin / ethnicity, how much you’ve traveled or how good your wardrobe is, classing people by broad terms and dismissing them based on those terms alone, people who call other people snowflakes/cucks/betas/white knights/sjws [in a derogatory sense]/other name calling, etc.] I do believe in supremacy of ideas, though, and people having the humility to back down from ideas which are less accurately / precisely explanatory than other competing ideas.
  4. Folks who think they have the perfect way for the rest of us to bootstrap ourselves up [whether it involves taking a month to a year off to travel expensively to foreign countries or to work our day jobs + another 4–8 hours a day learning new skills, effectively destroying community and health in the balance]. These, to me, are folks who have “easy” lives and just can’t see how difficult it is [or deny how hard it was] to get our of a difficult life.

However, this response from you, Kady. This one has me making a vow.

I will not make any more cheap shot comments on Medium.

By that, I mean insulting a person using epithets or derogatory name calling or implying a lack of intelligence. I will not myself make assumptions just because of a person’s stated allegiance to a group or groups. While I don’t generally do these things, I’ve found myself allowing myself to do these things to groups 1–4 above and some other groups on Medium. It is the rhetorical equivalent of the comedy rimshot sound effect, and it doesn’t make me look like a skilled rhetorician or thinker. It is certainly not going to convince people. If I have a chance to convince people, and most of the time I assume I don’t [ergo the cheap shots, just pop pop pop popping of my feelings of futility in the face of certain viewpoints], I will do so through questioning beliefs and facts, and replying with logical and reasoned arguments.

I will take people at their word, and I will reply to their words — not to the person or how they class themselves.

Ahem. Thank you for helping me make this vow. It is a small thing in a very large community, but I hope it helps even in a small way in the world of ideas at least to remove one negative cheap-shot voice from the crowd of voices in a kind of Collective Mind reasoning itself into or out of beliefs in rational and irrational ways with the written word.

I assumed you might not be American because you used the word “bum”. I’m glad to encounter people engaged in the political narratives of any country. It is easiest to be involved in the narratives around one’s own country [my guess here], but I will take all comers: even folks from other countries, like a colleague of mine, who is very curious about American culture and politics. It makes sense from your interests you are American, but I would not have dismissed you out of hand just because you were not.

As for the SPLC, I take it like any other group: I’m going to agree with them sometimes and sometimes I will disagree. That doesn’t make the ratio of them being right/wrong the same as the ratio of my agreement with them, but it makes me feel better the closer they agree with me. I haven’t studied them enough to know their ratio of agreement with me, but I know I’ve seen a lot of headline cases where I do.

I see Sommers claimed rape only affects 2% of women. Does she still hold to that? Did SPLC just speak out against her, or did it declare her a hate group/individual? She speaks out against “rape culture” claims, and I’m concerned she makes straw person arguments to do so. Do you think she does or that she has numbers behind her?

I don’t have time right now to look into SPLC’s claims against: Ben Carson, Charles Murray, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, etc. Are they worth me looking into?

As for Antifa, it is difficult for me to define what seems like a logical extension of the Allied presence inWWII, which fought Nazis with violence, as a hate group, if they are being violent against violent Nazis? We live in a land of rules and laws, so I’d hope anyone, Antifa or not, would have his or her day in court if he or she performed an act of violence. But the idea of attacking Nazis with violence is a time honored tradition in America. Why should it stop now? Again, I don’t actually approve of vigilante actions, especially proactive ones, but if I saw a Nazi hurting a Jewish person or a POC, and there were no police intervention — I’d hope I’d step in to help. Groups which oppose Nazism seem, well, conventional to me. That’s why we aren’t in this or that Reich right now, serving under some political descendant of Hitler: because we fought Nazis with violence. Again: for anyone out there reading, if you go and punch a self-proclaimed Nazi in the face, I will personally nod in approval when you get convicted of battery. We are a nation of laws. I just also see why SPLC might find it ideologically more iffy to take a stand here, as the people they’be labeling as a hate group are anti-Nazi. SPLC would then put themselves in a position to be accused of condemning the Allied Forces, or people who supported them, which feels problematic.

As for CAIR, I just don’t know enough there. I don’t like any kind of religious fundamentalism. I think there should be a strictly enforced [in a way most people I know do not agree] separation of church and state in America. And groups whose official platform recommends violence against a protected group, like the Roman Catholic Church, should be evaluated if CAIR is, IMHO. As in: the Bible justifies a violence against protected groups, just like people say the Koran does.

To me: even if one metric — “ FBI statistics on hate crimes” — goes down, it does not imply to me the number of hate groups isn’t also going up. Again, I’m not an expert here. But I’d be as likely to question either of those two metrics, and also to acknowledge both could be true as-is without a logical contradiction.

As for feminism: who defines what feminism is?

Why do you, or Svetlana, claim there is a definition of feminism which trumps any individual’s take on it. Are you prescriptivist and not descriptivist? Do you believe there is an authoritative text on feminism which anyone who claims to be feminist should adhere to?

Thanks in advance.

I might still slip up and attack the person and not the idea. If so, let me know. I want to change that behavior, no matter whom I’m addressing on Medium.

Your feedback has been greatly appreciated, and I thank you in advance for the stamina it would take to read my TL;DR response.

Resident of Frogpondia.

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