In Defense of, If Not Social Media Partisanship, Then at Least of Having a Conviction | [D]mergent


One conceit on Facebook I find particularly cloying: The detached Meta-Critic.

This is the person who has risen far above the plebeian scrum, who reclines on the heights, where thoughts are general, unsullied by such odious tokens of common life as political partisanship, religious commitment, or moral conviction.

The Meta-Critic looks down from an Olympian perch, always slightly bemused that the uncultured might possess convictions they actually care enough about to express in Social Media.

And because the Meta-Critic seems to occupy no particular position (other than the one that says positions should not be occupied—at least publicly), the Meta-Critic is afforded a certain kind of moral authority denied to anyone else with an opinion.

Both the Right and the Left, the Fundamentalist and the Progressive, the Puritan and the profligate are targets of the Meta-Critic, because all are often relentlessly obnoxious.

But the God’s-eye view from which the Meta-Critic observes the unseemliness of the Social Media Mosh Pit is too convenient, since it never has to fear the flying mud of real life.

In many good people’s minds, there seems to be some virtue attached to refusing openly to advocate for anything that might be even remotely considered partisan. They feel that to raise one of these issues from a “partisan” perspective would be to break some sort of social contract, whereby we collectively agree to maintain the pretense that we hold no conviction more dearly than the one that prevents us from holding convictions dearly.

In Defense of, If Not Social Media Partisanship, Then at Least of Having a Conviction | [D]mergent.

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