Now that the prisoners have been set free on Twitter, you’re probably starting to see more leftists in your timeline than before. While they’re annoying, this was, in part, the goal. Free speech is no longer suppressed or hidden behind biased algorithms and, as a result, you’re tweets are now intruding into their monologue.
Some of them are going to start posting arguments and/or trolling you. Weapons free, though I’d advise you not to engage with every single person who angrily appears in your timeline. You’ll be at it all day, and most of them aren’t there to debate, they just want you to be wrong.
Mark Twain once said to “never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” Twitter is proof that he was right in that regard…but I digress.
Leftists are clearly upset about this new turn of events. Their sense of narrative superiority has now been shattered and they’re going to be confronted with ideas that they’d rather not see or hear about.
To cope with this they’ve had an argument they use as both a sword and shield on the argument of free speech. It looks something like this:
There is a world of difference between differing opinions/civil discourse and disinformation campaigns/incitement. Pretending as though they’re the same makes you the bad guy
— SMH (@SM2021yet) October 28, 2022
This is one version of a prevailing idea from the left that the same people who shout racial slurs, encourage violence against racial groups, and support white supremacy are the same people who point out that the vaccines never worked, that transgender people aren’t actually the sex they say they are, or merely have questions about the 2020 election. They believe that the person who rejects radical leftist beliefs like CRT are the same people who storm the capitol.
It’s a pretty smooth-brain take, but for narrative purposes it’s excellent. It’s an easy sword to wield and doesn’t require too much thinking or nuance.
The shield aspect of it guards the person against being accused of overt authoritarianism. It’s a virtue signal at its core, with the person invoking extremism made to look like they care about society and putting people in harm’s way. It’s an “I care more than you do” kind of message that paints their authoritarianism as a moral high ground.
The sword aspect of it is obvious. They want to lump people who simply disagree and argue fair points against them as the same people who like to toss around racial slurs, demand all LGBT community members be marched to the gallows, and pray for a second Holocaust. The goal is to make it seem like you, the person simply pointing out that lockdowns don’t work and Democrats mishandle the economy, are the same guy waving a confederate flag while you break a window at the capitol so you can storm inside.
The idea is to paint your arguments as worth ignoring because they come from a person who is as dangerous as they are stupid.
Obviously, it’s a silly narrative, but it’s one that pervades the left’s collective mindset more than you’d think and constitutes the bulk of the argument against free speech.
It’s all a misdirect. If you do feel the need to engage, then ask them to provide proof of any radicalism on your part, and don’t let them make you answer for someone else’s tweets. They will try, but keep them on target. Either they’ll stop talking to you or they’ll try to keep pushing it until you stop talking to them. Either way works, but the point is that everyone else who might witness the conversation will understand the strategy.
Also, keep an eye out for plants. With free speech returned to Twitter, trolls and leftists will disguise themselves as right-leaning extremists who will begin throwing around the exact phrases the left is accusing the right of being behind. It’s not a coincidence, but again, remember that you’re not responsible for other people’s tweets.