I recently encountered a troll on a friend’s page.
He is deep into QAnon’s propaganda and refuses to believe that Trump and his administration are corrupt and that the Senate knew it when they chose to ignore the evidence in his impeachment trial.
The Washington Post article that spawned the thread is here:
Yup. The Washington Post sure does suck.
Why did I stick with the conversation? Because the responses from the rest of us, who all have a firm grip on reality untainted by QAnon, Fox News and OANN, contained a wealth of information for everyone but the troll.
Let’s call him Eustace.
Well, think about it. The character Eustace Scrubb in C. S. Lewis’s The Dawn Treader is a complete asshole until he gets himself in such hot water, Aslan himself has to strip away layers of skin–flaying him alive–just so he can return to normal.
If you think of that dragon skin as all the lies and conspiracy theories, our feeble attempts at explaining the truth to trolls like Eustace won’t matter until they get themselves so down deep, only a psychological flaying will make it through the layers of lies. You can preach reality to people like Eustace, and they will grin with glee even as they substitute your clear understanding of fact-based reality with their rich fantasy life.
Wasting time arguing with people like Eustace makes no sense. With luck, his kind will someday understand the criminal behavior their Good Ol’ Boy Party has encouraged and protected and they will feel shame, but I doubt it. They would have to admit a level or racism, misogyny, and greed of Biblical proportions and they won’t do that because it’s fundamental to their world view. They would have to take responsibility for their own actions and that looks like actual hard work.
I recommend instead freeing trolls like Eustace so they can continue to believe their propaganda, safe in their own private fantasy world. It’s not like they’ll read the actual Senate committee report because if they prefer QAnon’s fake reality to the one the rest of us know.
Because I wouldn’t want to bury actual content under ten tons of bullshit, here’s the actual report from the Senate Intelligence committee. You know: The one chaired by Republicans because they have the majority in the Senate?
Eustace doesn’t think this actually happened, that the Senate Republicans knew. Yeah, Eustace, they did, but you won’t hear about it on Fox News because they’re too busy pushing bullshit.
Everyone else here knows that the entire GOP are responsible for destroying every single safety net and now the USPS because they don’t care about anything but maintaining power. Let’s be clear: These people *knew* when they refused to remove Trump and they refused to do anything about Trump because they are all complicit.
Eustace won’t tell you the good things the GOP have done in the three and a half years they’ve been in power because the only thing they’ve done is give us our own money back and pretend to fix problems they created in the first place. Eustace has only his hate for a faceless entity called “Liberals” and he only believes that we’re evil because he’s been told that we’re what’s standing in the way of his own personal glorious rise to power.
When the only defense Trolls like Eustace can bring to the argument includes some conspiracy Whataboutism regarding sex slaves and Clinton, you can remind them that the story is just as deep as the cellar at Comet Pizza.
“But yeah, please do go on about a thoroughly debunked QAnon conspiracy theory, because that sure does make you look like an intelligent, reliable source.”
Shhhh, though. Don’t wake Eustace from his rich fantasy life. He’s liable to become violent when he figures out someone lied to him and it isn’t the Democrats who did it.
January 8, 2019, from The Guardian:
April 26, 2019, also from The Guardian:
One year later, on January 24, 2020, courtesy of The Hill:
The rest of you need to read this.
(I have a PDF of the Twitter thread, in case it goes missing.)
Interested in the original satirical play? Here ya go (thanks to the Internet Archive):