Friday, July 7, 2017

Anonymity: Further Thoughts

     My comments on Internet anonymity in yesterday’s piece stimulated a reflection from the worthy Dystopic, whose core is as follows:

     If Leftists had respect for free speech, anonymity wouldn’t be necessary. And even today, as Francis says, putting your name to a thing shows a level of conviction that the anonymous often lack. But on the other hand, signing your name to a thing can carry a financial cost that one must be comfortable paying. It’s a trade off. Using your name grants authenticity, but can render you and yours more vulnerable.

     Only you can decide if the risk is worth the reward.

     Vulnerability is often a matter of personal prowess and conviction mated to one’s value in others’ eyes. I’ve been fortunate in both regards. Not only have my views been public for a long time – yes, I’ve been an out-loud-and-proud racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, ableist, lookist champion of freedom, traditional mores, and time-honored values for decades — I’m able to argue for them persuasively. Also, my stature in my field is such that my employers have always felt privileged to have me. No amount of venom can poison someone whose opinions are well founded and whose abilities are highly valued.

     But that’s a set of personal characteristics. Not everyone who wants to talk up his opinions has my assets. What protection is there for persons less well supplied with such things?

     The answer is numbers.

     “Strength in numbers” is an old maxim. However, there’s something else in numbers: the protection conferred by a crowd of allies. If only one old atavism such as FWP is public about his sentiments, he’s easily made into a target. That’s why major op-ed luminaries draw a lot of fire: there simply aren’t that many of them. Yet we should note that the Left must strain for a major scandal to bring one down:

  • He who champions marital fidelity must be caught in an affair;
  • He who condemns homosexuality must be caught with a lover of the same sex;
  • He who thunders against public corruption must be caught misappropriating public monies;

     ...and so forth. Otherwise, the George Wills, the Ann Coulters, and the Mark Levins are protected by their stature and the sizes of their audiences.

     A somewhat different form of protection is afforded by there being many persons saying the same things and being fearless about it. If tens of thousands of commentators of no great stature – e.g., my stature; Liberty’s Torch gets only 500 readers on a good day – would behave fearlessly about their opinions, who would the Left’s mud-slingers target? More, should one be singled out as a “rising star” who must be snuffed before he can become truly dangerous, he would have tens of thousands of allies available to rise to his defense.

     Now, the above isn’t the argument that led me to go about under my right name. I did it from the beginning, out of the conviction that it’s the right thing to do if one wants to be taken seriously and presumed sincere. (Yes, I’m a crazy bastard, but if you’ve been reading my drivel for any length of time, you knew that already.) However, I did want to make the case above in the hope that others of less sass and brass might be emboldened thereby. America can always use more proud, fearless voices in the defense of liberty and justice, and anyway, I’d rather not hog all the fun to myself.

4 comments:

scttmtclf said...

Fran, I want to let you know that I am very grateful to be able to read your "drivel." I greatly appreciate your thought-provoking and mentally stimulating works, as well as your light-hearted musings. Keep up the good fight, and God bless. Enjoy your wine tasting trip! In vino sanitas.

PolyKahr said...

Fran,
I hear you, but I have been writing so long under the nom de plume of PolyKahr that it might upset the apple cart were I to switch now. None the less, I now sign comments and other places with my real name. When I stated, Mrs. PolyKahr was afraid I would draw all sorts of leftists hate mongers to kill us. I suspect she has figured out that most trolls are cowards.

Keep up the good work,
Wade

Chuck said...

Fran, now I feel like I am in elite company as one of only 500. Thanks for clearly writing what I am thinking.

Jack Imel said...

Me too... I've never tried to hide, or have any reason to I.D. as to anything or anyone other than myself. If I did that, I might not be recognized by others of like mind. But surely you underestimate your following... heck, I've told a couple hundred folks about your site, although many of them would be reluctant to comment. I'm at least 501, ain't I? God bless your unabashedness... Christian and otherwise.