The recent disputes happening at rallies seems to show troll culture has jumped from Cyberspace into the mainstream.
Trolls, in short, are folks who visit an online website, blog, or discussion thread they disagree with, but rather than just stating their points like a rational person, they seem to feel they are on some kind of crusade to disrupt, upset, and dismantle discussions that don’t suit them. They are self-appointed “thought police.” It’s as if other people having their own opinions is simply not allowed, are seen as a personal affront and threat to their own worldview rather than simply as an alternate one.
Imagine if Trump supporters started to attend rallies for his democratic opponents, heckling, destroying candidate signs, trying to jump on stage. Would the press blame the candidates themselves for those actions, or would they place the blame where it belongs — on the agitators who are on some vigilante crusade to “shut down” a legitimate and (like it or not) popular candidate?
Whether or not you or I agree with Trump or not, we should all be very, very disturbed by these events surrounding him, and how he is being blamed for those events rather than the blame being placed on those making their own choices to agitate in the opposing camp and yet expect impunity — or worse — validation or glory even. Not that I am justifying violence, but you don’t poke at a rattlesnake with a stick and then not expect a reaction, do you? What did they think was going to happen?
Because you know what? If troll culture gets a pass, we’ll start seeing it more and more often, like at this rally just moments ago for another presidential candidate!
The solution is not to allow more and safer disruption of people who really should not be there in the first place. We don’t need to protect the trolls, they need to be legally ejected or arrested if they are disruptive. To coddle them will only make things worse.
Whatever happened to agreeing to disagree? How did we get here? How do we get back to something a little more sanity based?
The slow slide of first amendment freedoms, of all personal liberties in fact, we have seen over the past few decades is not a good thing. It is not American. It is not freedom. It is not liberty. It is not justice for all.
Troll culture is not a step forward, it is a big step back.