Don't Be a D*ck
This is Winston. He's the image for this post because he can quite often be a bag of d*cks. He pees on the orchid stand, chases the cats, and barks at sunbeams. Brutus, sweetly sleeping beside him in this particular picture, can also be a d*ck, especially when he barks his tiny, fast becoming-blind-and-deaf head off because he thinks the other dogs need to go outside. (but in general, they are Good Boys and I love them).
These two serve as a reminder that living beings are complex. No one (with a few exceptions I won't go into here) is completely horrible pond scum, and also no one is absolutely perfect in every way. And, in my main point — people are going to have different views and will be passionate about them.
Just because they don't agree with you does not make them terrible people.
I know people are down on social media, but I generally like it, except for the small point that it has a tendency to make us all didactic monsters. If you don't agree with someone, it seems the accepted practice has become to call the individual out, rather than the point or policy you disagree with.
JUST STOP IT.*
Your family brought you up better than that. If not, your friends hopefully whipped you into shape that time you called someone something really stupid at a party and it turned out to be your friend's little brother. Don't behave like a jerk when you've got a screen protecting you; behave as if you would if you were having that conversation at a party (and if you tell me that that's how you also behave at social gatherings you are hereby uninvited to all future pool parties).
And don't, for the love of all that is holy, clip someone's remark from somewhere else, then put it on another forum that they may or may not have access to, and then rip into them there (here I am looking directly at a Saint Paul Planning Commissioner who recently clipped an email he got, posted it on Twitter, mocked the person and close to doxxed him). Totally not cool.
It doesn't make you look like a witty provocateur. It makes you look like the mean kid snarking in the back of the classroom, and it makes you look small. Really small. Like you don't have enough faith in your own beliefs to defend them, and so instead you have to pick on individual people.
Winston is sometimes a d*ck but he's trying to be better. For his sake, don't be a d*ck. He needs role models.
• Clearly there are exceptions to this rule. If someone does something totally hateful, like making a racist remark about a person, or, say a larger situation such as inciting people to riot at the Capitol, go for it.