Trolling and Humanity

Humanity keeps coming up.

Journalist McKay Coppins appear on The Atlantic's weekly podcast this week to talk about his Atlantic feature on Stephen Miller.  He writes about the way in which Miller exemplifies the style of right-wing politics derived, basically, from online 'trolling.'

Coppins says of a video of Miller speaking in high school, circulated widely for Miller's angry complaints about being required to clean up after himself in a school with paid janitors:

"It gets at an important dynamic of this whole kind of ‘trolling’ effort which is that Stephen Miller might have been aiming that speech at trolling his classmates, right?  his liberal classmates, his peers.  But in the crossfire, the people who often actually get hurt the most in these efforts to quote-end-quote ‘troll’ are the people who the jokes are about.  So we hear the boos from his classmates which is exactly what Stephen Miller wanted.  We see him get dragged off the stage looking happy about the whole experience.  We don’t see any of the janitors at the school who probably felt pretty bad about that whole spectacle if they heard it.  And that’s just a small example of this whole culture."

At some point, adversarial politics obscures the idea that politics itself is about real problems for actual human beings.