When Everything Is Political, Nothing Works
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.