Thursday, October 27, 2016

This election? It's personal.

This election has been a brutal one. And not just for the candidates. It's been brutal for me as well. There is always a risk in speaking out and expressing your political beliefs can be dangerous. That is nothing new. But what does seem to be new, at least this election cycle, is the stakes. Given the actions of the Clinton campaign, along with their media lackeys, this election is personal for me now.

Since this election has started and I have posted about it, not only on blogger, but Facebook and Twitter as well. While doing so I have faced a couple of attempts to attack me. First some definitions. In internet vocabulary, there is a term called "doxing". Doxing is to release someone's private information, like names, addresses and work info onto the internet with the expectation that the people that the information is released to will begin a harassment campaign.

Someone tried this with me. All I did was say that I wouldn't vote for any Republican that didn't support Donald Trump after the Trump Tapes scandal hit. That's semi-controversial I guess, but someone on Twitter decided that was unacceptable. That person was not a Republican and quick check of his Twitter account shows that he is most likely voting for Clinton.

This person attempted to get information about my personal life, including where I went to college, and added me to a list on Twitter, obviously intended to name and shame people for having the "wrong" political beliefs. Fortunately, I did not raise to his bait and blocked him immediately after I figured out what he was going to do.

If I hadn't done so? Well the guy only had 7,000 followers, a small amount on twitter, but he could have sent my information to others. And that could have lead to me being harassed. Do I know that for sure? No, but I was not going to take any chances. As far as I am concerned, this was a close call.

But that is not all. I have been flamed and called racist by quite a few people on Twitter. This is par for the course on social media, and something that I am prepared to deal with. If you haven't been called a racist, as a conservative, then you haven't posted anything on the internet because it seems to be the default attack. It's happened to me for simply saying that attacking a rally protesting against political violence is counter productive. Years ago I was called a racist simply because I went to college and studied the criminal justice system. The bar is quite low with these people.

What I wasn't prepared for was what Twitter seemed to do to me as well. As in the company itself, not the community. At one point I believe I was shadow-banned. Shadow banning is when your posts (or tweets in this case) are blocked from normal view and you aren't informed of this descion. Twitter has fairly powerful analytics available and through that tool I suddenly noticed that instead of getting hundreds or thousands of impressions for each tweet, I was getting single digits. This was a matter of concern until I also noticed that my analytics were no longer working either.

I asked one of my followers if she could see my tweets and she said yes, but also confirmed that my tweets weren't available when she wasn't signed in. To this day I have no idea why I was shadow banned. The ban was lifted shortly after, but I have no idea why it was put into place in the first place. It might have been retribution because I followed the wrong person, Breitbart journalist Milo Yiannopolis, right before he got banned from the platform. But if that was the case, why was I still able to see posts from other people that followed him? My guess is that it had nothing to do with it and my posts just pissed off the wrong person.

Still, all of that could have been a mistake or a glitch. I never tried to contact Twitter about the problem, so I don't have the full story. I don't think I ever did anything to be banned, you can look at my Twitter account yourself and I doubt you will find me doing anything that is against the terms and services, but the whole situation left a bad taste in my mouth.

That being said, these incidents were minor. After all, even though internet drama can leak out into the real world, the real world is still more important. So has my support of Donald Trump ever gotten me in trouble in real life?

Almost. I was at a gas station around 10:30 at night. I had pulled in to get gas and I saw another vehicle at another one of the pumps. On the back, someone had written "FUCK DONALD TRUMP" and the back window. At first I thought that it was a case of vandalism, but then the driver started to walk back to his car from inside the gas station. He must have caught my look of disgust or perhaps he just hated me because I was wearing a uniform (security, not police/military). But he looked at me like he wanted to murder me. Though this was just a punk kid, I kept my mouth shut. He drove off and in the end, I am glad I didn't say anything. Because if I had, the kid probably would have attacked me. I probably would have won that fight, had it occurred, but I learned a long time ago to never insult someone without knowing their capabilities. And he could have been capable of anything.

This election has me on edge. Maybe it is making me a bit paranoid. I will let you judge for yourself. But the threat is real. A lot of Trump supporters (and just non-Clinton people in general, Bernie Sanders fans have dealt with the same crap) have been attacked. If you search youtube and twitter you can find plenty of examples of people vandalizing cars with Trump stickers, signs being stolen and quite a bit of actual physical violence. Some of that violence was even instigated at behest of the Clinton campaign, as the Project Vertias videos showed.

I don't want to be part of that. And I think it is disgusting that I have to worry about physical violence and online and offline harassment just because I like Trump better on policy then Clinton. I would have loved to have gone to Trump's rallies (or any of the other GOP candidates when they were in my state) but at the time, I was way too worried about violence. The events that have occurred around here have been peaceful, but there wasn't anyway for me to know that. In other states there have been riots, beatings and even an assassination attempt on Donald Trump.

That wasn't true in the past. I've gone to campaign events for George Bush, John McCain, Senator Ron Johnson and Governor Scott Walker. In all of those cases I felt safe. Hell, I was working security for most of those events, so I was helping keep it safe. But even though I had done it before and felt completely safe, I thought the risk was way to high this year around. I wasn't just worried about violence, I was worried about my vehicle being keyed or otherwise vandalized.

That's the level of discourse now and I think the media and the Clinton campaign have a lot to do with it. From the beginning they have tried to paint Donald Trump and his supporters as evil people. They don't just say that we are wrong, they say we are deplorable, irredeemable and even out and out Nazis. By doing so they are painting Trump supporters as people you can morally do anything to and still be in the right. Because who wouldn't want to stop Nazis?

This is a huge problem and not something I agree with at all. And before you say it, yes the GOP and Trump supporters have their bad apples as well. Trump himself has shot his mouth off a few times when he shouldn't have. But there hasn't been anywhere near the kind of condemnation happening in the Trump camp as there has been in the Hillary Camp. Most of the vitriol is directed at Clinton herself, along with the news media, who, quite frankly, earned most of their scorn. That doesn't mean it's right to harass them either, but they did more then simply express support.

Which is another reason I am voting for Donald Trump. He's not perfect. Indeed, in many ways he is a scoundrel. But I refuse to accept that he and, more importantly, his supporters, deserve to be attacked. The vast majority of people voting for Trump are doing it for valid reasons and none of his actions are so far beyond the pale that his supporters should be attacked and harassed. Hell, even if the groping charges are true, that doesn't mean that his supporters deserve violence. The campaign against him and his supporters is what planted me firmly in his camp and on November 8th, I will be voting for him because of it. Like I said, it's personal now...

1 comment:

  1. It is obscene they way this election is going. It is clear the media is on Clinton's side. It is clear that Clinton followers are out of control. Both sides are to blame with the name calling, lying and bullying. But worst are the voters and children who have to become violent and vindictive. At this juncture, I am ashamed to be American.