I was shocked to learn of the death of Mike Adams, one of my favorite columnists. Adams was a relentless defender of free speech and due process, and won big victories in court when faced with unlawful discrimination. Naturally he was hated by radical Leftists. When it was revealed that he had died, degenerate perverts immediately started virtually dancing on his grave on social media.
But we should not be self-righteous as conservatives. I have seen many on the Right express similar sentiments about Leftists. There are plenty of nasty, hateful trolls on both sides. This is not to excuse either side, but to provide some much needed perspective.
Much of the problem is the anonymity and pseudo-anonymity offered by the Internet. Trolls hiding behind fake names can be as hateful as they want and will never face real-world consequences for it. The lack of personal, face-to-face interaction creates a pseudo-anonymity even for people who use their real names. It is much easier to see someone as an avatar instead of a person when you are interacting through a keyboard or a touchscreen. The Internet has made our political and cultural discourse much worse.
So why the hate? Adams never harmed anyone. We are not talking about a serial killer or someone who participated in a shockingly brutal act of violence against a child. We are talking about someone who had political opinions that many disagreed with. You are happy that he is dead because you did not like what he posted on Twitter or wrote in his opinion columns? Really?
David French’s tribute to Adams was excellent and I encourage everyone to read it. We all need to be better. We need to be less hateful and bitter. We need to ask ourselves before we say something if we would say the same thing if the person we are addressing was in the same room with us. And as is often the case when I write on this topic, I am writing to myself as much or more than anyone else reading this.