July 4th this year saw a scrimmage on the internets hereabouts. Often flame wars have broken out between young fellers over keyboarding disagreements about sports, culture or politics. This week, however, saw an outright war take place on social media called the Second Civil War. This imaginary conflict sparked humorous exchanges pretending to pen letters home from the front lines of battles betwixt supporters and opponents of President Trump.
After Alex Jones warned of a so-called plan by the Democratic Party to commence real war on Independence day, the metaphorical struggle was begun by Amanda Blount@amandablount2 on July 2nd with a tweet:
My Dear John, The war isn’t going as planned. Our supply trucks are limited. I’m out of wine and sunscreen. The enemy burned all the books and there is no place to recharge my Kindle. The only music is an old CD of Justin Bieber. — All is lost. #secondcivilwarletters
A Twitter battle royal ensued. Much hyperbolic blood was spilt in the ongoing scouting expeditions into Starbucks and Walmarts across the country. I personally experienced many laugh-out-loud moments, reading these tweets. Most were political attacks against opponents. Democratic-leaning tweeters joked about Trump or his family members, cabinet members, or supports who were often called Redhats or Redcaps. Trump supporters launched barbs into Libtards and soft Birkenstock yoga practitioners on the left.
To my surprise, I found the tweets that most entertained me to be the ones that were gentle, usually did not mention opposition characters by name, and contained a solid bit of self-deprecation. Surprised because I am a strong partisan for one side. But, I have for two years felt that personal verbal attacks should be directed at Trump. I feel justified by surveys that show Trump supporters are strengthened in their resolve and loyalty in response to attacks against the president.
A keynote of many entries was acknowledgment of internal weaknesses of our sides that do not make us suitable for this battle. Leftists often mention their non-use of guns, bullets and a dependence on books and knowledge as weapons. Many tweets mentioned the dependence on available charge connections for Kindles and iPhones. Here was a tweet I sent:
Beloved, supplies low on this 3rd day of #SecondCivilWarLetters. Only stale, cold avocado toast remains. Kindle and Android down to single bars. Send solar chargers, stat. Awaiting Canadian care packages of Poutine. Must have more thoughts and prayers!
I’ve enjoyed the postings that address stereotypes. So I think it’s good that many tweets attacked perceived stereotypical beliefs of the opposition. For example:
Ruth Golmant@Rgolmant on July 4th:
My dearest Fanny,
We survived an ambush by red hats today by changing road signs from directions to Rand Paul’s home to RuPaul’s home. Many were confused and simply returned to their camp. Love, Ben
Postings tried to convey how our side was confident of victory, while revealing weaknesses that threaten our ability to really compete. See:
Harrison Breault@HarrisonBreault on July 5th:
Dearest Mother, It is late in day 2 of the 2nd Civil War. I managed to gain entry to their HQ w/my Confederate Flag. When they asked for the password I uttered “Dont tread on me.” I was in. But they began the pledge of allegiance and I knelt. They knew. #secondcivilwarletters
While Alex Jones began an unexpected battle between left and right, the humor and sarcasm revealed points of agreement across the divide and perhaps may be positive in the long run. Alex Jones was correct, in a self-fulfilling way, in that this is a second civil war for the electronic era. And many a belly-laugh has been had, especially over the sarcastic, self-referential stereotypical exaggerations, I truly hope the worst damage would result in slightly bruised feelings (on either side). My best wishes are that those little grains of truth to be found in humor could result in some honest reflection and try to heal the huge rift in our beautiful land.
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