I created a Twitter account this last week and I’ve learned quite a lot. Just this morning, I learned that every Twitter address you include in your message gets a copy of your tweet. Last night, after watching Real Time with Bill Maher, I was really annoyed with one of his guests, Will Cain, a conservative from Glenn Beck’s The Blaze.
Right out of the gate, Cain claimed that the counter to charges of racism was that we have a black president. There are so many things wrong with claim, it makes me feel bad just to think about it. On the most basic level, Obama only got roughly half of the vote—that leaves a lot of room for racism. Furthermore, racism takes many forms that are less obvious than the desire to form a lynching party. One of the most compelling arguments for why Obama was so low key at the debate was that he was fighting against the “angry black man” stereotype. I don’t know if that’s true, but this is certainly something that has shaped Obama’s tenure as President.
Anyway, the evening didn’t get better with Mr. Cain. And when the topic changed to global warming, he showed himself to be nothing more than a guy who uses all of his intellect to massage right wing talking points into simulacra of thoughtful arguments. Bill Maher asked him why it was that conservatives in every other country accepted global warming. Cain didn’t even think about it: there is real scientific controversy about global warming. Well, no. In fact, there wasn’t even controversy about it among the public 10 years ago. But the full court press of disinformation from the likes of Will Cain have made vast swaths of Americans think there are major questions or even a conspiracy.
Afterwards, I tweeted:
I thought this was pretty clear. I’ve been arguing this for a long time. One doesn’t have to be that smart or knowledgeable or creative to be a right wing commentator. My tweet is a specific example of this. If Will Cain were a liberal, he might have risen to the heights of blogger at Daily KOS, but there’s no way that he would be on Real Time. The show wants to book people with different ideas; it would be boring if they all agreed. So the producers have to find conservatives. Unfortunately, the pickings are slim. What are they going to do, invite Pat Robertson? Of course not. Instead, they bring on light weights like Will Cain, who was out debated by Kerry Washington for Christ’s sake!
I did not intend for this tweet to go to Will Cain. I don’t think much of him as a commentator, but I have nothing against him as a person. It isn’t my intent to hurt him—or even appear to. I put in his Twitter address because I’ve seen other people doing this and I’m trying to fit it. (The writing on this site is not that much like my “real” writing, although it is rather a lot like I talk—minus the ums and uhs.) But I don’t think Cain much cared. I’m sure he’s used to be shouted at my liberals. I mean, I’m used to be shouted at by conservatives.
However, Will Cain replied to my tweet:
I have no idea what he’s talking about. He was spouting stereotypical libertarian nonsense. There were no surprises. He was boring. This is a case of affirmative action for conservatives. Everything is consistent. Where’s the problem?
All I can think is that he has a problem with my referring to him as both conservative and libertarian. When I was a libertarian, I hated it when people referred to my beliefs as “conservative.” Then again, I was an unusual libertarian. I came at it from socialist thought. I was aggressively pro-union. I was concerned about government and corporate coercion. But even still, I understood that libertarianism was a form of conservatism. And Cain should too. After all, social conservatives don’t claim they aren’t conservatives.
Anyway, I am sorry for tweeting that message to Will Cain. If people come looking for insults, fine. But sending out unrequested insults is just rude. What’s more, Cain is not boring; he’s just annoying. But then, I’m sure Glenn Beck wouldn’t have it any other way.
You might want to follow me on Twitter. The main thing is that new articles here get tweeted out so you will never again miss another brilliant insight into Don Quixote, Lope de Vega, or even stuff that happened this century:
Even more aggravating than Will Cain, the Twitter handle @FranklyCurious is owned by a guy who goes under the name “Surya Sanjiv.” And he could have used @SuryaSanjiv, because it is available. So I used @CuriousFrankly, although in retrospect, I see I should have used @iFranklyCurious. Live and learn.
I just occurred to me that in the fast paced Twitter world, maybe Cain misread “libertarian” as “liberal.” That would make more sense.