Almost twenty years ago, when I could not conceive of ever being anything but a leftist, I joined a left-wing online discussion forum."Weekend Must-Read: Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist." By Danusha V. Goska, American Thinker, 7/21/14 (emphasis added).
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In this online forum, suddenly my only contact with others was the words those others typed onto a screen. That limited and focused means of contact revealed something.
One topic thread was entitled "What do you view as disgusting about modern America?" The thread was begun in 2002. Almost eight thousand posts later, the thread was still going strong in June, 2014.
Those posting messages in this left-wing forum publicly announced that they did what they did every day, from voting to attending a rally to planning a life, because they wanted to destroy something, and because they hated someone, rather than because they wanted to build something, or because they loved someone.
I experienced powerful cognitive dissonance when I recognized the hate. . . .
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I do have right-wing friends now and they do get angry and they do express that anger. But when I encounter unhinged, stratospheric vituperation, when I encounter detailed revenge fantasies in scatological and sadistic language, I know I've stumbled upon a left-wing website.