Quick History Lesson

Three years ago I posted an item about the following meme, which showed up on my Facebook feed, courtesy of a conservative friend.


I said this:

There’s something else said here that was supposed to remain hidden. A bit of analysis reveals the trick is in the language. In the instance of the three constitutional amendments, the language uses party names, but does not identify the people involved. I will make a slight change in language without changing any of the facts:

  1. Liberals supported abolition of slavery. Conservatives opposed abolition of slavery.
  2. Liberals supported giving citizenship to freed slaves. Conservatives opposed giving citizenship to freed slaves.
  3. Liberals supported the right to vote for all. Conservatives opposed the right to vote for all.
  4. Liberals supported making affordable health insurance available to all. Conservatives opposed making affordable health insurance available to all.

This item is currently receiving over 200 reads a day, down from 1300 shortly after last week’s election. It tends to draw more comment than any other post on this blog, a lot of it negative. Some people don’t like being told that racists are politically conservative. Here is the most recent:

It appears to me that the only thing that Changed is the definition of Liberal and Conservative. This does not negate the fact that the Party platforms hasn’t changed.

This came yesterday, and I did what I usually do. I hit the approve button in the admin window to make ND’s comment visible to all readers. Then I did something I always do. I attempted to verify that ND was an actual person. There is a way. Posting a comment requires supplying an email address:


Below the email  address is the IP address of the sender. You have an IP address when you are connected to the Internet. I sent ND a note by way of his email address, advising him that I had approved his comment, and also noting that “ND” was likely not his real name, and could he provide me with a real name.

Guess what happened. You already knew, of course. Gmail returned my note as undeliverable. There was no such account. This is what is called “ring and run:”

It’s an old game, but I got the title from a not quite as old TV show. It’s called “ring and run,” and what you do, if you’re a kid, is to ring somebody’s doorbell and skedaddle before they can get to the door. See what fun it is? You make somebody go to all the trouble for nothing, but the best part is, you don’t get caught. You get to leave your message and not have to answer for the consequences.

Yes, “ND” wanted to get his message out at my expense, but he had no desire to know what others thought about his comment. And he had no desire for anybody to know his real identity. He wanted to make his opinion known, but he didn’t want that opinion  to be associated with his name. In the email (returned as undeliverable) I sent to  “ND” I noted that when I write something I always put my name to it.

Net result: I removed the approval from ND’s comment, and it no longer appears beneath the original “Quick History Lesson” posting. It appears here on this page for those interested in knowing more about the character of people who want to make believe that racists are  not conservatives.

John Blanton


2 thoughts on “Quick History Lesson

  1. I am very far away from all the hubbub, Bub, but just wondering: are there depressed, crowded ‘boiler-rooms’ packed with sighing computers and young, somber minimum-wage operators attached to them, whose lowly duty it is to troll’n’bolt (cyber-variation of ‘ring’n’run’)? Rather like telemarketing slave galleys.

    If so, of course, there would be no mechanism in place to ‘have an intellectual exchange’ or ‘sustain a discussion’ once one of these unemployed drones taps out his / her ‘conservative’ (whatever that is supposed to mean) message.

  2. Pingback: Quick History Lesson | Skeptical Analysis

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