There were different types. There were those who seemed to care little about appearances and simply thrived on seeking out and attacking raw spots in people to try and upset them as much as possible. They were more spectacle than substance, much like Trump, and just as vile.
Then there were the "intellectual" types, the ones that used ten-dollar words and talked a lot about "logical fallacies." Most of the time their use of these betrayed the fact that they hadn't even taken a rudimentary logic class. These were the ones who could really draw you in for hours as they trotted out one completely shit "source" after another and accused every other sentence you wrote of being some kind of fallacy or showing "bias." All they'd have to do is repeat these tactics over and over until they exhausted their "opponent." As stubborn and ornery as I was (am), I rarely let them have this satisfaction and took pride in driving them to be the one to finally give up and block me.
Many identified as men's rights activists, anti-feminists or anti-sjw's. They railed against modern feminism as going too far or being all about hating/oppressing men. These were the staunch "all lives matter" folks who could be exposed as complete racists in a matter of minutes, if you knew what you were doing. They were the anti-"PC culture" crusaders who thought that being considerate with language is fascism, or something.
There were so many. And like I said in one of my recent posts, they started to come around less and less this year. I thought they were going away, but apparently they were only hiding.
Now they're revealing themselves in full force in the perceived safety of an incoming Trump presidency. And the tactics that people are exposing as being part of an actual concerted effort to build this "alt right" force are awfully familiar. Many of the "trolls" I argued with used them, with varying proficiency. Some of them with such skill that I worried. It made me think that maybe they were a serious threat. They couldn't sway me, but misleading info-dumps and twisty-turny logic can work on a lot of people who are uninformed about these tactics and unequipped to see through them.
Maybe they stopped trying to argue with me because they were too busy working this spell on vulnerable, impressionable young white people, particularly white men. They swept them up in secret and manipulated them into their world of mental hate-gymnastics, right under our noses.
And it's just weird to think that I directly communicated with so many people who were white supremacists and neo-Nazis all along. Most were probably just pawns, not knowing that they were being sucked into Nazism. But I bet that some of them, the ones whose insidious faux-logic and fancy word use could easily trick those vulnerable to their message, knew exactly what they were.
I'll never forget the comment section argument I had with one man who claimed that the police in whatever part of Canada he lived in, I forget, were afraid to mess with him because he was so good in court and buddy-buddy with all the lawyers and he was going to sue me for calling him a misogynist online. I laughed at him, because it was a hilariously empty threat, of course, but the way he stuck to his guns no matter how many times I told him that I knew he was full of shit and that you couldn't sue someone for calling you a misogynist on an internet comments section, that stuck with me.
Because you see, people are impressed by conviction. If you repeat lies enough times and if you act hard enough like you're right, people will believe you. That's a big part of how Trump happened.
I won't underestimate these people again.