Despite being very politically active on Twitter, I personally stay out of Facebook political squabbles. I barely use Facebook anyway, but when I do, it’s mostly just putting my best face forward for relatives and co-workers. It’s to the point where I won’t even “like” political content on Facebook and most people seem to do the same.
With that said, political Facebook debates are something everyone on the platform has stumbled across. Everyone has at least one politically active friend on Facebook; someone who spams a steady stream of links that get 0 engagement. Sometimes, however, political debates break out on Facebook. They generally happen following a massive event that dominates the news-cycle and spawns a national debate, such as a mass shooting.
They also tend to spike in frequency the closer we get to an election, especially a presidential election.
Facebook political debates truly are pointless. They’re so pointless that almost every debate plays out the same way. Here are five individuals you’ll come across in the next political Facebook debate that pops up on your feed.
Every Facebook network has the regular political debater. This is a person who can be found in every political debate that takes place in your high school or neighborhood network. They genuinely care about the issues and as a result, spend way too much time yelling into the void about it on Facebook. Expect a blurry profile picture from a shitty angle where you can’t tell if they’re smiling or not.
A distinct trait of the regular is lack of partisanship. They may lean one way, but they hop in these threads to actually debate or get some sort of point across. This individual is generally harmless and the only non-insufferable part of this list.
The “Both Sides” Person
Alright, so there’s obviously nothing wrong with wanting to understand both sides of an argument. It’s healthy for debate and should be encouraged. However, this is not what the “both sides” guy is about.
The both sides guy will seek to find the middle ground of an argument no matter what. Wanna argue that genocide is bad? The both sides guy will find a way to take the middle ground and explain why you should be open minded in a smug, high pitched voice that you’ll be able to hear through your screen.
The both sides guy won’t reply to any comment in particular, he’ll just explain that both sides in politics are dumb. Real big brain stuff. You can bank on this person being a Rick and Morty fan.
Where has this guy been all of human history? Who knows, but literally everything bad could have been avoided if only he and his infinite wisdom got here sooner.
The High School Debate Douchebag
Part of understanding why modern political discourse is so fucked starts with the concept of formal debates. Debaters are taught to never concede ground to an opponent, even if the point is fair. It’s a win at all costs method that unfortunately, is too often applied outside of a formal debate setting.
Most people want to have civil discussions and will give ground, because it’s not that deep in their eyes. Give ground to the high school debate douchebag, however, and they’ll just spit in your face. This individual is usually drowning in student loan debt and has been told they’re the second coming of Christ by their parents for their entire lives. Expect them to have canned, mic-drop (in their eyes) statements and a stockpile of links that they didn’t actually read.
Basically, this person is just a lost Twitter user.
The Peacetime ex-Military Guy Who Has Final Say
No Facebook political debate is complete without an appearance from this guy. Expect him to make his appearance 1-3 hours and 36 comments into the thread. Good points will have been made, insults will have been thrown around and memes will have been posted. At this time, some dude who served four years on a base in Georgia will hop in the thread to lay down the law.
He did nothing for four years other than clean oil drums and jerk off in a dorm room, but he was in the MILITARY BRO, so he knows. Once the peacetime ex-military guy hops in the thread, there will be no more discussion. He’ll lay down his aggressive version of the both sides guy that basically boils down to “I was in the Marines so all you bitch ass civilians can stop talking.”
This person is almost always considered a clown by other military types, especially combat veterans.
The Person who Re-ignites the Thread After 36 Hours
How could the list be complete without this person? When OP has stopped commenting and the peacetime ex-military guy has laid down the law, someone will inevitably re-ignite the debate.
It will be a day and a half later, just when everyone has decided that the thread was officially finished. Generally, this will spark an entire new political debate that only the regular and high school debate douchebag will participate in from the original discussion.
Rinse and repeat.