After ridicule of Bristol Palin's hilariously stupid blog post about President Obama's evolving stance on gay marriage went too far, the daughter of former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin seized the opportunity to show her readers just how picked on she is and what big jerks people who disagreed with her were. No one who criticized her was actually criticizing her idiotic arguments, claimed the member of America's most famous legacy of professional victimhood, everyone was just calling her fat and stupid and generally bullying. Whoever ghost writes Bristol Palin's blog has a point — telling people that they are a human argument in favor of abortion is mean and unnecessary. But, more importantly, telling Bristol Palin that she should kill herself is playing into her hands, and we should know better than to give her an excuse to paint every detractor as a victimizer.
First things first — plenty of people had problems with Bristol's argument without resorting to ad hominem attacks and name calling. Not that it was hard to find the irony in a single mother's completely straight-faced declaration that "children need a mother and a father," or fault in her analogy that Obama's consideration of his wife and daughters' opinions in shaping his views was exactly the same as when conservative women say they submit completely to their husbands — the woman makes Meghan McCain look like Ta-Nehisi Coates. But those nuanced arguments were drowned out but the dumbasses who couldn't resist saying terrible shit like "May death be upon you."
Not only is wishing death on someone tacky as fuck, it gives people like Bristol ammunition. If there's anything a Palin loves, it's taking one example of extreme behavior from the left, building it into a giant hollow straw man, and then stuffing it full of everyone who disagrees with her — if one person is telling Bristol to light herself on fire, they all are! If one person who thinks Sarah Palin has bad ideas calls her a dumb bimbo, then everyone who disagrees with Sarah Palin is sexist, just like that one conveniently mean guy. And because this isn't the first time Bristol has played the "poor me" card after acting like an ignorant asshat and being called on it.
Victimizing someone who already has a victim complex gives them the upper hand. Bristol wins, we lose, and a situation that should be pretty straightforward — someone who wrote a bigoted post advocating preserving inequality and supporting it with dubious and outright false anecdata was given the opportunity to position herself like a long-suffering Madonna protecting Love and Peace and Understanding and can't we all just hug? In her latest blog post, called "Hate in the Name of Love, Bullying in the Name of Tolerance," (barf) she writes, "People claim they're just trying to protect the right of two people to love each other – a right I don't contest, by the way – and then spew the worst words imaginable at someone they disagree with. If the agenda is love, why do you hate so intensely?"
Insults give people like Bristol Palin — or any conservative woman who has built an image around the false notion that they're "bullied" — the opportunity to respond to insults rather than to actual critique. In fact, some of the commenters on her latest blog post complained that "someone" was going through the thoughtful takedowns of Bristol's original post and deleting the civility but leaving the insults. Because it's easier to play the martyr that way.
Don't let Bristol victim her way out of this. Resist the urge to insult. Please. I can't take another sanctimonious lecture from a homophobe.