13 October 2012


VITRIOL - as defined by the word nerds at dictionary.com, means: something highly caustic or severe in effect, as criticism.

Welcome then, my friends, to the week that was in social media.  It's been a veritable cavalcade of vitriol.  And what pray tell was the source?  That would be the one and only Vice Presdential debate of this insufferably long political season.

Earlier this week, America's favorite crazy uncle, Vice President Joe Biden, and Republican congressman, VP candidate, and P90X/Tony Horton acolyte Paul Ryan debated.  I was only moderately interested in the debate and as it began, my wise best friend, the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML, suggested that perhaps I watch something else or watch nothing at all.  I opted for watching nothing at all.  I then started checking my Twitter feed and comments on the interweb's favorite place to spew, Facebook, and decided that maybe I should not look at that either.  So I started reading a book about North Korea and the modern-day underground railroad that exists to help people escape that vicious regime.

Based on the invective that was all over the two aforementioned social media outlets the following morning, I was never so glad I opted to read a book.  I'm all for a good debate and I'm all for political discourse but the level of personal vitriol that has erupted is incredible to me.  And I'm not talking about the snarkfest that was the spat between Biden and Ryan.  I'm talking about what I saw on the FB and Twitter and for comments that were directed to me personally because I am not of the Mittite tribe. Wow.

I have friends from across the political/social/religious spectrum and if I stack up the comments that were made during the VP debate and the first Presidential debate, in terms of acting/reacting really poorly and spewing personal attacks on those who choose not to support their candidate, the folks supporting Team Romney win.  Frankly, I'm not sure that's an award you want to win.  It's been interesting to have those supporting Team Romney (and who, ironically enough, share the same faith as me and Romney) call me an idiot, call me ridiculous, and mock me because their candidate "won" the first presidential debate or because I somehow had something to do with crazy Uncle Joe's snarky performance.  If only I had that kind of influence...I don't.

Everybody, relax.  Remember what you were taught in your high school civics/government class (except for those of us educated in the Arizona public school system), these things have a way of working themselves out.  We still live in a mighty and great nation.  Be grateful for the freedoms we have.  Be grateful that we are free to have open political dialogue.  Be grateful you aren't a young Pakistani teen-age girl with a bullet in her brain, courtesy of the Taliban, because you had the audacity to speak out.  Be grateful that you aren't living in a vicious, oppressive regime like North Korea.

That said, Tuesday, November 6, can't come soon enough.

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