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I’ve been working a lot lately (well, all year), in the final months of a big automation project with a preposterous number of moving parts. It’s fun to watch it all come together — and mostly work.
When the need to vent my spleen becomes irresistible, as it inevitably does, these days I do that venting on Twitter. (I’m going to deadname the site forever. Pluto is still a planet in my book, for what that’s worth: I’m slow to adapt to a shifting reality. Don’t get me started on pronouns.)
I post on Twitter for a few reasons. One is that I want to support Elon Musk’s claimed goal of creating a true free-speech platform. (I pay for Twitter for the same reason.) Another is that it’s easy: When I’ve only got 280 characters, it’s easy to resist the temptation to which I habitually succumbed here at Ricochet of prattling on ad nauseam. It simply isn’t an option.
But the main reason I’ve shifted my currently too-limited attention to Twitter is that I have always wanted to engage an audience that fundamentally disagrees with me about ideas. While Ricochet has long had its charmingly (and occasionally less charmingly) disputatious cranks, you can scratch most of us and find, under the iconoclastic veneer, one or another species of, broadly speaking, conservative. That’s good: That’s part of what keeps Ricochet civil, given that conservatives tend to be, I’m absolutely convinced, more polite and congenial than non-conservatives.
I encounter a few Ricochet folk on Twitter and that’s always a treat. But most of my 1,512 followers (but who’s counting?) are probably well to the left of me, many very far to the left. The topic I comment on more than any other is the gender-insanity movement, and I share that battleground with a great many angry feminists and lesbians who are sick of men trying to colonize their spaces. I get that. I also know that we’re strange bedfellows, and that when the trans movement dies (as I’m confident it will, and probably soon) I’ll find myself in a virtual room full of people who suddenly recognize me for the tyrannosaurus I am. That’ll be a bittersweet moment.
It will be, that is, if every last vestige of giving a damn about what anyone thinks of me (never my strong suit) hasn’t been completely burned out of me by then. Because Twitter is still a toxic place, one where even the most anodyne and clinical criticism of a sacred progressive position — about gender, climate, race, abortion, guns — is met with a spittle-flecked barrage of ad hominem obscenity. (For some reason, they’re also weirdly obsessed with the fact that I’m old: I’ve been told more than once to go back to the nursing home.)
It’s taken some adjusting, and more than a little self-control, to walk away from awful people. (Some of them are, inexplicably, pretty big: Nicole Hannah-Jones, she of the 1619 malpractice, upbraided me a few minutes ago for criticizing yet another of her race-baiting tweets. To her credit she didn’t swear, though she also didn’t respond to my point.)
So, I’m taking a moment to thank my friends here for years of civility and grace, even in our most heated moments vastly more congenial than what I run into on Twitter every day. Ricochet remains the most civil issues-oriented community it’s ever been my pleasure to visit, and it’s nice to know it’s still here, still sane, still conservative — still the halcyon eye in the hurricane of modern political discourse.
Well done, folks.Published in