On What you are For

So what does it mean to post things you are “for”, instead of things you are “against”?

It means that you look at what you are going to share, and you find a way to express it in a manner that is supportive of something, instead of against it.

For example, the vast and rather extensive majority of folks on my friends list are “against trump”.

A lot of them are also “against the dnc” and “against Hillary” and a bunch are “against Bernie”.

The thing is, that only tells people what you are opposed to. Like pro-lifers screaming at an abortion provider, it doesn’t show the rest of the deal, and it always places your views and your ideas in an adversarial and negative light.

Which isn’t to say people shouldn’t do it, just that it shouldn’t be the only thing you do.

Look at your last 20 posts and look for the posts about things you are for.

Maybe you are for low cost childcare. Maybe you are for women being able to walk down the street without a top on.

Maybe you are for reasoned, just government.

These things are important, because they give the context to what we are against.

This is even more important for those of you who maintain friendships with people who oppose human rights.

Because when all someone sees of you is how much you are against something, they might get the sense that you have an intense dislike of something — and that the only thing you care about is that intense dislike.

Incidentally, an intense dislike has a term that many on the left are not comfortable using. That term is “hate“.

For example, I freely admit that I hate the orange fuckup. I hate Paul Ryan, I hate Mitch McConnell, I hate most of the Republican members of the House of Representatives.

I would be dishonest if I didn’t take the time to say that, to acknowledge that. To make that clear.

Because Intense dislike is hate. The reason isn’t what defines the hate, the intense dislike does.

Now a lot of folks think that hate is a bad thing. Animus is pretty raw stuff, and it isn’t healthy to hold onto it, and it can affect your ability to see and think clearly because it is an emotional state that triggers various other emotional states.

All of them dark, bitter, and harmful (to you, if not someone else).

But honesty is still possible, and often helpful, because when you know that you hate, you can often do things about it.

Indeed, hate can make one deeply obsessive, and it triggers increased defensiveness — which those who have been paying attention will recognize as one of the reasons that a lot of problems don’t get solved.

The greater the intensity, the more it feeds itself, and you end up in a place where, well, to use a less precise analogy, you become a hammer and all the world is a nail.

That is, as think-piece after think-piece on them keeps pointing out, where the hardest core supporters of the orange fuck up are, all the time.

That is what he preyed on, what he used, and, well, pretty much where he is, and Pence is, and Ryan is, and so forth.

So yeah, hate is not a great thing. Hate is pretty much a not helping kind of thing.


One can not let hate dominate them. For me, hate shuts down my creative faculties, strikes away my discipline, undermines my brain chemistry balance.

So I focus on what I am for, as much as humanly possible. I focus on what I care about as a change to the way things are, or ask questions and spread humor to try and be about something, anything, but hate.

Indeed, I know I do well when I can look at a full day’s posts and not more than a quarter of them are about what I am against — because the stuff I am against that I care about enough to comment is usually big, important, structural stuff.

If I didn’t intensely dislike it, I would most likely not comment on it.

Even this post is about what I am against. And it needs to be balanced with things that I am for, like good roads, cops that are there to protect and defend and assist and support a community, firefighters and teachers and everyday people getting the tools and equipment and living wage they need.

Things like a basic income for everyone, healthcare for everyone that is the same no matter how much they have or how famous they are, and more people having a college education and being able to start their own business.

I am more for corporate accountability and responsibility than I am breaking them all up, although I am for that too.

I am for the right if a person to own property, and to be able to have a home and food to eat and clean clothes.

I am for healthcare including dentistry and mental health by default, and I am for more people learning that trans women of color are fucking awesome.

I am for Wonder Woman being a great film, and I am for more tv shows that feature complex women of color as the lead who are doing Daring, powerful things that don’t involve having sex with the more powerful white dude.

Ok, that last one was a tad bit about what I am against, but did you note I was honest and I was still talking about the stuff I was for while mentioning the stuff I was against.

I know a lot of folks don’t always get my whole sociology and psychology thing, and there will be folks who do not get this.

But think back to how often I am right. Please. Because in this case, I am really talking about something much, much bigger than just the folks on my friends list.

Something that weakens the heart of the nation and renders the people in it irrelevant, and perpetuates a state of disarray and hostility.

Angry people, people who are intensely disliking something, people who forget what they are for in their pursuit of what they are against — these people are more easily scared, more easily manipulated, more gullible and subject To bias confirmation, and when they are scared, they are far far more likely to surrender what they are for as the sacrifice on the altar of what they are against.

So that, dear one who asks a smart question, is what it means when I ask you to imagine spending one day posting about what you are for, instead of spending it posting what you are against.