I rarely get involved in politics on the internet. And by rarely I kind of mean never. Honestly I would rather stick needles in my eyes than get involved in a political argument online. This does not mean I do not have my own thoughts and beliefs, I just know that the chance of winning a political argument online is about the same as the chance of me winning an argument with one of my daughters; At best I will walk away with a tiny shred of dignity and an appreciation for why some animals abandon thier young.
I do however keep a very open mind and I like to think that I can look at both sides of a position and take away some knowledge from almost any view that may help with a future political decision. The key word here is “almost”.
Due to the ridiculous amount of political postings, rantings and musings of late it has become impossible to read them all, so I have devised a simple way to quickly weed out the postings in which you will find zero worthwhile content. You know the ones, they are always full of misinformation, half truths or often outright lies, and even if there was potentially a worthwhile point to be made it is so shrouded in the authors obvious bias and disdain that the message is lost in a sea of negativity that is just not worth trying to navigate. This brings us to my easy to use system. This system of vetting possible informative posts is based on avoiding some “buzzwords” that are simple to spot. If you find more than one of these buzzwords it’s time to scroll on – Life is too short.
The easiest way to lose my interest in a good debate is to start using silly name hacks. These are things like “Trudope” for our prime minister, “Chrispy Clark” for the Premier of BC and any of the thousands of plays on the name “Trump”. It doesnt matter on which side of the political fence I am sitting, as soon as you modify a person or politicians name I instantly know the level of intelligence I am dealing with. Insulting someone by rhyming or twisting thier name kind of ended in grade 5. This includes calling a Conservative a “Harperite” and calling any Liberal a “Lieberal”. How amazingly witty *insert eyeroll here*
The next word that is sure to lose my attention is “Sheeple”. Beyond the basic annoyance of this word, to simply write off an opposing opinion as only following the masses is quite frankly an insult to free thinking people everywhere and lends zero credibility to their point. I do think for myself thank you, and if that leads me to an opinion that coincides with the rest of the “sheep” then perhaps it is not me who is lost. “Lemming” is another variant of this and should get the same treatment.
Very closely related to these terms is the ever popular demand to “do your own research”. This is often lumped in with “I’ve done mine”. The arrogance of this is, of course, mind-numbing. Basically what they are saying is that they read some stuff online and it’s the absolute truth and what you believe is false so you need to take the time and learn… BUT they can’t be bothered to show you where their research lies. That’s ok, believe me when I say that I can’t be bothered either, especially if your sole argument is to tell me that I just haven’t tried hard enough.
The next couple of ways to lose my interest in a post are a little less political and more into the conspiracy theory realm, although the two are very closely related and one usually leads to the other. The first one is the use of the term “Big Pharma”. For some reason people have developed this amazing ability to blame every problem in thier lives on “Big Pharma”; from housing prices to a dead battery in their car, some people are convinced that every aspect of thier life is manipulated by drug company CEOs and profits. If your argument or point involves calling out “Big Pharma” please substitute the word “Sasquatch” instead – it will be more interesting and it will give you the small possibility that I may keep paying attention. At least hearing how a Sasquatch has affected your life would be entertaining.
Continuing with the conspiracy side of political rantings, anything that has its origins with the root word “zion” is an instant way to get me to keep scrolling. The most popular of these are “Zionist Plot” and “Zionist Shill”. The subwords are almost enough to make the list on their own in fact. As soon as you read “plot” you know you are on your way to a full blown, tin foil hat conspiracy theory and “shill” is just a cop-out for when someone cannot articulate any kind of argument on their own merits. Losing an argument? Just call the other person a “paid shill” which means that they are secretly working for “the other side” and therefore must not be believed. Once someone has nothing left to say and cannot support thier point of view with facts then this is their easy backstop. When you hear this term you know that the other person has zero credibility and offers nothing worthy of paying further attention to. It’s time to move on.
Feel free to expand and update this list to fit your own preferences. Some other danger phrases you may wish to watch out for would be: any “Matrix” references, all suggestions of a “New World Order” and silly blended words such as “Feminazi”. It is very rare for any useful, interesting or meaningful points to be found when these terms are floating around. Does ignoring posts with these words make a person uneducated? Not at all. It just helps to distinguish logic and reason from the rhetoric and noise. Once you pay attention to when and where these terms pop up you will quickly see that reputable, rational and logical sources simply don’t use them at all. Your sanity will thank you.