I have a fan group on Facebook. (Sarah’s Diner. If you have a burning need to join, just ask. Someone will approve you within a week or so. But read on first.) The fan group has some peculiar rules, considering I’m a writer at PJM and have a distinctly political (at least in patches) personal blog. Oh, and I post at Instapundit too.
How peculiar? Well, no politics and no religion are the fundamental rules. There are others, mostly to prevent some weird patches of bad behavior people fall into, but those are the basic ones.
This is because my group started as a fan group on Baen’s Bar and is mostly for my fiction. My fiction, before I came out of the closet politically and the left started seeing politics in everything I write (because how could someone of my obvious evil have an untouched area of endeavor?), attracted fans from all over the political spectrum and I did not want to have someone made uncomfortable while discussing my fiction because someone else insisted on discussing politics.
This is, in fact, an extension of my growing up in a deeply divided country, where if you wanted to have a family reunion, or a scholarly meeting, or even just lunch with childhood friends, you could not mention politics, and politics were kept off the table (so to speak).
The “no religion” rule has only proved a problem when someone (sometimes my husband) revives the old IBM versus Mac wars. Yes, it’s religious. No, there’s no winning or losing that argument, so it’s just forbidden under religion.
The “no politics” rule, though, keeps running us into trouble.
I have a moderator group for the Diner because from the moment we went over 100 members, we started having people getting creative on their misbehavior. At 1000 members, if I didn’t have help, I’d never do anything else.
So I have eight people, who discuss any posts that might need deleting for rule violation and sometimes pull me into the discussion because they’re not sure.
This is happening more and more often and recently the most common quandaries and the most common reasons for deleting posts are: “Is this post political?” and “This post will get political comments.”
These are not posts about political figures (think of all the fun we’re missing with Occasional Cortex. But it’s okay, we have stupid animal posts, so…) or even about current events or pronouncements by a political party. Those happen, accidentally, because someone posts in the wrong forum. (I’ve done it.) But they’re no-brainers on the deletion.
The hard ones are where you’re going “Is this political? This feels political, but it shouldn’t.”
This is because the left has made everything political, and reads politics into everything.
Now, most of the cases below are hypothetical, though some people have screamed “politics” on scientific posts.
You post a funny meme about vegans? Since most vegans are leftists, it’s immediately political. You post a meme about immigrants or speaking in broken English (keep in mind I am an immigrant and while I don’t speak in broken English – I glue all my English before speaking – I do speak with a noticeable accent, something my oldest fans love to tease me about) and because the left has wedded itself to open borders (in the hopes of electing themselves a new people), blam, the post is political.
Do you post about your new car? No matter what you got, an SUV or a tiny hybrid, bam, your post is political, mostly because the left has planted its blood-soaked flag on the side of human-hatred, by claiming we’re killing the Earth or something (even while their political figures refuse to live like they believe it).
What else can you post about? Oh, yeah. Your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse. Wait! Are you cis-heteronormative, whatever? POLITICS!
I once posted something about how men and women were different and had barely time to blink before someone labeled the post transphobic (no, seriously, explain this one to me: if there is no difference, how come there are trans people? How can you be a male trapped in a female body or vice-versa if, in fact, the sexes are exactly the same except for minor external stuff? What is the whole point, even?).
Honestly, it’s getting to the point I start cringing when people post about their cat, because you know somewhere in the mix there are probably PETA advocates who are going to accuse them of slavery… and then it’s political. Or people who are going to get offended because only women have cats and therefore this is sexist.
There is a reason that science fiction conventions are dying.
I attended one this weekend and a friend lamented that you can no longer be on a panel with anyone without the discussion devolving to politics. And you can barely talk to people in the halls because any topic can devolve into politics.
I mean, the left is right that science fiction has always been political. I used to read both Right and Left, sometimes rolling my eyes at the world building, but suspending disbelief if the book was good.
The problem is that the left has explicitly dragged politics into all these fields and made it unallowable to discuss them from anything but their point of view.
Science? Unless you’re prepared to swear on a stack of Bill Nye videos that climate change is due only to humans and going to kill us all in twenty years or so, you’re an evil right-wing extremist.
And space? Why don’t you want to fix the Earth first, hater?
And how dare you doubt that there are 88.5 genders?
Future extrapolation? Well, the future belongs to trans and queer people (and it will be very brief) and if you disagree with that nonsensical opinion, you’re a Nazi. (I’m of the libertarian branch of Nazis apparently. We oppress you by refusing to oppress you. Or something.)
Art? Real art is that which moves us towards the progressive future, and if you don’t like being preached at, you’re just a rube who can’t read outside his comfort zone.
And that’s before you get to #metoo and women who are harassed because you smiled at them, failed to smile at them, looked at them sideways, or in my case make them feel unsafe because I walk by and I’m (in this case self-identification, biology and, oh yeah, religious beliefs don’t count. What counts is what they say I am) really a white Mormon male and exude patriarchy from every pore. (You real men, with, like, penises and stuff, can only stand in awe of my toxic masculinity. Imagine if I were actually male, how masculine I would be. I’d probably impregnate people over the internet. With a meme.)
No wonder science fiction conventions are dying.
The sad thing is that if we allow this poison to spread, if we allow leftists to take more and more debatable things out of the debatable sphere and instead enshrine them as political, which is to say “If you disagree with me, you’re a Nazi,” everything else will die too.
It’s becoming hard to imagine any area of science, commerce or mere social interaction that is safe.
It’s time we start reclaiming sanity. It’s time to say loud and clear “No, that’s not political. It’s whatever” (science, history, entertainment). “And you claiming it’s political is either bad faith or ignorance. Now let the adults talk.”