One of our esteemed editors has rightfully asked that a particular (and familiar) thread in an excellent diary be relocated to its own post.
The comment that began that thread is one of several that exemplify concern trolling (emphasis mine):
The Concern Troll is a type, a very interesting type in our new media age. The Concern Troll has actually gone mainstream and there are many occupying global media positions. Example: Almost anything you read from Karl Rove these days are examples of a Concern Troll in action. He’ll write some Op-Ed for the WSJ warning the Democrats not to get caught up in this healthcare debate lest they lose congressional seats in 2010 – HEAVEN FORFEND! You know Karl would hate to see that, right?
Thus, a Concern Troll: A troll who’s main technique is to employ insincere concern for the group he’s actually targeting.
Here are several canards that were mentioned today, and that happen frequently:
1. The extreme right-wing and “neoliberal” Democrats are the same
2. Democrats, especially “neoliberal” Democrats, blame workers for their poverty
3. The ACA is a “good example” of (1)
I get that we should not feed trolls. At the same time, I also get that sites like this reflect the commentary that they host. The audience of BMG — especially the many people who read our commentary and do not add their own (for most sites, the ratio of readers to writers is between 10:1 and 100:1, often more) — may be left with an incorrect sense of BMG in particular and Democrats in general (to the extent that we remain an opinion-shaper of Democratic thought).
I think that nearly all BMG participants support single-payer government-sponsored health care. I think that nearly all BMG participants support increasing the minimum wage, mandating a living wage, and mandated family leave. I think nearly all BMG participants and nearly all Democrats understand that making education and skills available to those who cannot afford them is a crucial part of society’s safety net.
Democrats are not perfect. We are also DIFFERENT FROM the right-wing and especially the extremist right wing. I’d like BMG to be a place where that can be said without provoking a long and repetitive chain of lies, misrepresentations, misquotes, and often personal attacks and abuse. On issue after issue, any effort to highlight the stark differences between “them” and “us” provokes this kind of concern trolling, and almost always from the same handful of sources.
I participate in BMG, and have for more than a decade, because this community values fact-based and reality-based discussion.