The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Danny Cardwell's picture

    When Satire Exposes Hate

    Nancy Pelosi is one of the few politicians who can say they have favorability, likeability, and approval ratings comparable to the president. According to a Monmouth University poll, Nancy Pelosi’s approval rating doubled after the government shutdown. The poll found that 34 percent of voters thought she was doing a good job— twice as high as the same poll found in November of 2018, when her approval rating was 17 percent. She doubled her approval rating and was still 16 points below 50%. There are legitimate reasons to like or dislike Nancy Pelosi, but more times than not people base their reasoning on the caricature of Nancy Pelosi.

    About a week ago I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw that one of my friends shared an article from "BEBEST.WEBSITE". I wasn't familiar with the website, so I was hesitant to click the link. I was going to settle for just reading the comments. Let! Me! Tell! You! They didn't disappoint. These people formed some very strong opinions about an article they either didn't read or understand. After reading the 20 or so comments I had to read the piece that inspired such hatred. 


    The article opened as follows:


    As the new Congress prepares to take control tomorrow, presumptive Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a final legislative offer to President Trump this morning : the border wall will be funded and built – in exchange for passing a bill banning the ownership and use of all firearms in the United States by private citizens. Pelosi’s edict sent shockwaves through Washington.


    Pelosi noted that Fema and U.N. troops, already mobile from Operation Jade Helm, are ready to begin house-by-house confiscation, and sites in the Nevada desert and Utah plains have been readied for mass weapon meltdowns and burials. Liberal gun legislation activists like David Hogg and Taylor Swift have expressed overwhelming support for the ban.


    I don't know how anyone could read the first two paragraphs of this piece and think it was serious, but there are people who did. Sadly, this is happening about issues of great importance. Critical thinking and literacy are more important now than ever. A former teacher once told me she spent the first 10 years of her career teaching her students how to find information and the last 23 years teaching them how to wade through the information overload. I'm amazed at how often people will chime in on conversations they know absolutely nothing about. We are allowed to research a topic before commenting on it. 


    Facts aren't politically motivated. Facts are the cornerstone of truth. The constant attacks on the institutions of higher learning and the media have convinced a generation of people to be distrustful of any information that challenges their worldview. This will continue to hurt real people as long as terms like "liberal media", "intellectual" and "fake News" permeate the right-wing lexicon. I use to think a lot of Donald Trump's people were ignoring his daily lying, but now I'm certain many of them just don't know the difference.


    Here are some of the better comments. Even though they were made publicly, I redacted all of the identities except mine: I don't think it's fair to embarrass their family members. Also, I apologize for the language used: these are "good God-fearing Christian Conservatives", but something about Nancy Pelosi causes them to forget their upbringing. 









    I think Pelosi is great testament to being able to learn, over time and through many mistakes, how not to feed trolls. I see a marked change in the way she comports herself. I even have had the thought that Trump's extreme trolling may have helped her "see" the way out of feeding the hate trolls' memes syndrome. All that extreme smearing by radical righties that you gave for an example, it doesn't really stick with rational centrist people if you don't hyperventilate and troll back. And ridiculing with humor is a great tool as well. In the past, more than a few political campaigns have lived or died depending upon what Saturday Night Live did with them.

    I am seeing the same thing to a lesser extent in recent appearances I have seen on TV by another favorite of the right wing trolls, Maxine Waters. She has been acting more "grown up talking about silly children" and less like angry pushback to equal enemy combatants. As a pol, you show both power and maturity by being able to control your emotions and passions and not feed trolls. When the label "shrill" sticks, that should be a warning sign.

    My goodness, people think Trump is popular for winning one election, on a technicality, where he got fewer votes than his opponent, but Nancy Pelosi, who has literally built her career by winning popularity contests over and over and over again, at regular intervals, is... divisive?

    Sad. Such poverty  of spirit. At some level my first reaction is sorrow for  those who are forced to share their lives with the writers, Although I get it that for some of the authors  spilling such venom is probably the high
    point of their day (lord !) and they rose from the lab top smiling. 

    Better that than kicking the  dog! 



     These satirical memes are always being taken as fact. Some of you may have seen the video, from a Dutch comedy show, that had Netanyahu at a press conference boasting of killing Palestinian children. I don't see how anyone could believe he would say that at a press conference, but they did.

    Of course not - Bibi just likes to *see* collateral civilian damage, not joke about it. Though it was all an accident, honest.

    Of course "I, the Prime Minister of Israel, care more about Palestinians than their own leaders do. Israel cares more about Palestinians than their own leaders do" - much like Trump cares more for Blacks & Hispanics than Democrats do.

    Netanyahu has pulled so much shit and told so many lies over the years that you really shouldn't be surprised when people take distortions serious - he's his own caricature. And yeah, the motherfucker coming to Congress on GOP invite to scold Obama? should have found a way to withhold every cent of aid until he came crawling for forgiveness. Sadly that likely won't happen. Though I will be happy if he gets found to be part of hacking our election in 2016, as sale of Pegasus to the Saudis may start to divulge.

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