Right Wing Trolls, Hurricane Irma, and Militant Ignorance

Sunday morning, September 10, 2017. Hurricane Irma is hitting the Florida Keys as I type this. I had logged on to the Washington Post to read their latest thorough update of the situation on Irma as it crawls towards landfall along the southwest and then west coast of the state.

Destructive winds, rain hit Florida as Hurricane Irma’s makes landfall in the Keys

And the first most recent post that caught my eye was the following.

7:03 AM EST
Before I even read the responses below, I can easily predict that most of the responses will blame Republicans and Trump for the storm, and attribute the storm to “climate change.” This is so inane and intellectually repugnant, but the reflexive display of with-it “knowledge” by the small-souled, small-brained bugpersons who ARE the base of WaPo readers is just that: reflexive. Take a gander of this 170-year history of hurricane tracks by NOAA: https://coast.noaa.gov/hurricanes/?redirect=301ocm… So, many of these storms pre-dated the drilling of the first oil well and the founding of the Republican party, but never mind, climate change is real and due to Republicans, and we can hiply blame them today. Need to stock up on Raid to rid ourselves of the small-souled species of bugpeople who emerge with every occurrence of a negative weather event. Peace and love! Stay safe!

This immediately evoked a response from another commentator, quoting Isaac Asimov.

7:11 AM EST

Isaac Asimov — (1980):

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

Below is what I posted to the thread:

7:18 AM EST
So, I am assuming you did not watch the eclipse, just because scientists predicted it would occur? I watched a video of some young guys who drove to Wyoming, because science and math told them that if they pointed their camera at one specific tiny spot in the sky, they would catch the space station transiting in front of the sun. And, you know what, it worked! It took less a second to transit. But then, using science and technology, they replayed the video in slow motion, and there it was, the tiny man made object, filled with scientists / astronauts, crossing the face of the sun.

I taught high school over 35 years ago, for a few years, and I was already observing then the unfortunate trend in our American society among the students. It is not that they were ignorant, it was that were being taught to be “militantly ignorant,” refusing all attempts to educate and enlighten them to the facts of the real world around them.

I would say the TheLeftsTimeIsPassed troll clearly qualifies. I can assume he is eagerly awaiting Rush Limbaugh’s next radio broadcast, from a yet undisclosed location since he fled Florida like a cat from scalding water once he realized that Irma was not a hoax as he had so pompously announced a couple days earlier, was in fact coming for him.

You can read about Rush Limbaugh’s hoax claims regarding Irma,, that all the reports were just so climate scientists could grub for money, and to sell lots of bottled water, and fake news from the right in general, in this Forbes article: Rush Limbaugh, Fake News, and Hurricane Irma

Later, the same troll quoted above posted that he was going to flag to ignore all the leftie meanies who were pointing out the flaws in his statements, to which I responded in the comments:

7:50 AM EST
Ah, but here we touch on the heart of the matter. Those on the right have sealed themselves off in the echo chamber of the right wing media and disinformation campaigns of the GOP and their corporate overlords for thirty years or so. They carefully avoid exposure to anything that will factually refute the myths and carefully constructed worldview they have built, which includes everything from the beginning welfare queens down to the rejection of the fact that 99% of scientists accept the fact of anthropogenic climate change. (Extra points for humor. WashPo spell check does not know the word “anthropogenic.”)

Then another troll posted their criticism that all the news of Irma regaining strength was just hype, because it had only reached category 4 status again by just one mile per hour. To which I responded:

7:40 AM EST
I am sure that all the buildings that will be shredded, and the property and lives destroyed as Irma sweeps across Florida, will appreciate your keen ability to split hairs. Here is an idea: take your throne of ignorance, and go sit on the beach, joining the thousands of gun owners who have proclaimed they are going to raise their guns to the heavens and shoot the hurricane, so it will go away. P.S. just in case you get the wrong idea, I own handguns, have a license to carry, but at least I understand the physics involved, and would never threaten the lives of my fellow human beings by randomly shooting my firearms into the sky. What total ignorant folly and stupidity.


Author: Ron