I came across something to the effect on Facebook of, “Want to make people angry? Have an opinion. Wait.”
This is now my 8th year writing The Newburyport Blog, and I’ve had lots of opinions, on lots of things, and pissed a lot of people off at one time or another. I piss off “Conservatives,” “Natives/Townies,” and, yes, “Progressives.” Conservatives and Townies have one way of reacting, and Progressives have another, equally pesky, way of reacting.
Conservatives and Townies will call me things like “vicious” and “foul,” send me stormy emails, or leave me ranting Facebook messages ALL IN CAPS!!!!! And accuse me of outrageous felonies and misdemeanors, in print, to the point where I might have a very good case for suing them for libel. However, since I am among a whole string of fairly illustrious folks that have been accused of libelous actions, I’ve decided to let that one go, at least for now.
Progressives, on the other hand, seem to take to the phone. I’ll get long and very “intense” phone calls, and when I say, “I think I’ll hang up now,” they call back and continue. An attempt to reduce me to tears is sometimes pursued, and not to rule out possible threats of lawsuits. And sometimes follow-up, guilt-trip emails from young children and college students, in an attempt to get me to change my mind about whatever.
The people who don’t pull these various and sundry maneuvers, interestingly enough, are our local politicians. Either their possible displeasure is left up to surrogates, or they have developed a thick enough skin, having been in “the game,” to know that people having opinions about things, issues, campaigns and candidates, is part of the democratic process. It’s called free speech.
(And P.S. whether it’s a Conservative, townie or a Progressive that pulls one of these vagaries, believe me, I do not forget.)