Losing the fight against ignorance

How do you handle this situation?

I have a friend who loves to post Libertarian glurge. I have a lot of sympathy for the libertarian movement and I think they actually make many good points. But this is just tea party junk at it’s finest, with blatant lies about Obama and interviews made up out of thin air.

About a month ago, he posted a made up interview. This one, actually:

I thoroughly debunked it and provided the Snopes link. He didn’t respond, but he didn’t delete my comments either. In fact, in most of our conversations in the past, he seems to respect actual facts and is logical, it’s just that he believes just about any conspiracy theory involving our government, especially if it bashes democrats.

So fast forward to this week, he posts the exact same made-up interview, with some changes in the details of the text, and it even has the same picture with the story. I posted a comment, “You posted this already and I provided evidence that it is false. How many times do you need me to debunk this? This never happened.”

He deleted my comment and kept the post up there. I am left to conclude that he is deliberately spreading lies that suit his agenda. I guess I should just ignore him from now on, but how are we supposed to fight ignorance when people that know better intentionally spread it?

Yeah, well. This is why it’s taking longer than we thought.

Thing is, (and it’s not that I don’t sympathize), Facebook isn’t the place to have this fight - especially since it’s so easy for the purveyors of ignorance to simply delete or ignore your posts. I suppose if you really wanted to make a point, you could post to your own timeline with the Snopes story and tag him, then similarly delete or ignore his responses, but really, it would depend on how much time and energy you’d want to devote to the issue.

I know this happened on Facebook, but I don’t really want to focus on the FB aspect. This is a person who I frequently have real-life interactions with and we discuss this stuff. (To a point, I eventually had to tell him I refuse to discuss Benghazi any further)

Is there some way to get through to him? Or is it just hopeless and better off ignoring it and maintaining some kind of friendship? Actually, he’s going through a lot right now, so probably not a good time for confrontation. I’ll just let it go. (however, there is definitely a link between his bizarre political opinions and his personal life problems)

It’s hard to do much about willful ignorance.

Maybe you could convince some Nigerians to offer to pay him a huge amount of money to sell his wonderful article - all he needs to do is send them a few bucks first to get the ball rolling and he will make millions!

To be honest, there is nothing much you can do. I mean, come on - we have elected officials who think evolution is just an oddball theory, and that there is legitimate rape, and climate change is folly. They need people like your friend to keep voting for them.

Unfortunately, politics is no longer something people look at objectively. For too many people it’s like a religion now. If actual facts get in the way of their world view, they’ll just stick their fingers in their ears while chanting “La, la, la, I’m not listening, la, la, la…”

Eventually, you have to make the choice. I have a couple “ex-friends,” people I simply won’t talk to any longer. They exhibited extreme and obsessive opinionated behavior – became bloomin’ effin’ jerks.

If your friend shows so very little intellectual honesty as you describe – cut him off. A polite nod and walk the other way. “Slip out the back, Jack.”