The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

E-Mail to a Troll

Posted on | September 27, 2012 | 22 Comments

More than 15 years have passed since I first read Thomas Sowell’s brilliant book, The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy. Few things have ever made such a profound impression on me as Sowell’s analysis of liberalism as a philosophy rooted in the liberal’s narcissistic desire to believe he is the moral and intellectual superior of ordinary people.

One of the consequences of this is the liberal’s quick resort to insults when confronted face-to-face by conservative arguments. Merely by disagreeing with liberalism, you see, you are categorized in the liberal mind as inferior, and if you should ever start winning an argument, this provokes the liberal to begin shouting insults: By calling you names, the liberal expects to discredit you, so that the merits of your argument can be ignored.

See, for example, how Whoopi Goldberg reacts to Ann Coulter.

Or consider a person calling himself Seth Eben Shapiro who, for some unknown reason, reacted to something on my blog by sending me an e-mail full of insults. It is not exactly clear to me what I’ve said or done to offend Mr. Shapiro. His e-mail didn’t bother to say what it was about my politics or my journalism that he disagrees with. Yet he evidently felt an overwhelming compulsion to insult me, found my address and sent me an ugly e-mail, to which I felt obliged to reply succinctly:

Who the hell are you, and why are you sending me this e-mail? Do you have nothing better to do with your life than to scour the Internet, looking for people you disagree with, so that you can send them insulting messages?
What manner of foul hatefulness or psychiatric disorder inspires your antisocial habits? Are you addicted to dangerous drugs or in the thrall of some bizarre sexual perversion?
Seek professional help, before it’s too late.

Let me stipulate that I have no direct evidence that Mr. Shapiro is mentally ill, addicted to drugs or a sexual deviant because, as I say, I don’t have the faintest idea who he is.

Yet the indirect evidence — his unseemly vehemence toward me — is certainly suggestive of a twisted mind far gone in the helpless decadence typical of liberals everywhere. One of the symptoms of this degenerative disorder (colloquially known as the Andrew Sullivan Syndrome) is a grim humorlessness that impairs the individual’s ability to comprehend irony or sarcasm, and diminishes self-awareness to the point that he is unable to realize that he is a laughably pompous douchebag.


  • WJJ Hoge

    Yes, but will he send you a thank you note for his 15 seconds of fame?

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  • Adrienne

    Perfect description of my commie brother. BTW – I finally wised up and haven’t spoken to him in 3 years. Life is much better.

  • Finrod Felagund

    Perhaps not coincidentally, earlier today I ran across this story of an Internet troll who went so far as to send his victim nasty packages in the mail, and how the victim found and confronted him:

  • pacoent

    Perhaps a sophisticated textual analysis will reveal that Shapiro is Andrew Sullivan.

  • Charles

    Speaking of trolls, Jill Stein has a familiar name on her petition at, Brett Kimberlin, VelvetRevolution.US

  • Adjoran

    The thing about these leftist trolls is they are such sociopaths that he will probably be shocked to learn there is a human being to respond to him at the object of his ire.

  • Anamika

    Not me!

  • Anamika

    The only thing you have in common with the Leftist Email Troll is the drug damage to your brain.

  • FenelonSpoke

    That story of the man stalked by his friends son was a ghastly one. I’m glad you posted it, Finrod, but it was still ghastly. This is the way these people think-that it’s a game.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Is that you, Paco?

  • Bob Belvedere

    Good catch!

  • Bob Belvedere

    That kid was just a step or two away from becoming one of those psychologically damaged people who get used by Leftists to stalk and defame those on the Right. All he needed was for a Rauhauser-type to get a-hold of him.

    Luckily for this kid, his victim may have saved his arse.

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  • JeffS

    Well said, Adjoran. Especially since you managed to prick Anamika’s conscience.

    Or at least unbalance the accounting system she uses.

  • JeffS

    Assuming that the kid wasn’t lying to save his arse. Psychopaths do that.

  • JeffS

    Yup. A guilty conscience. Tut tut!

  • Quartermaster

    Now, now. To a leftist, sanity seems like the product of drug damaged brain. So he doesn’t even have that in common with the leftist email troll.

  • Adrienne

    Naw – but he won’t get a birthday gift either. Tit for tat…

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  • Bob Belvedere

    Very true. ‘Hope against hope’ and all that jazz.

  • Francis W. Porretto

    The Right’s great default in the ongoing social and political contest with the Left has been our refusal to learn from our enemies. They have mastered tactics superior to ours; their flawed ideology made that mandatory for them to “stay on the field.” We should study their moves and adopt whichever of them are most effective — and yes, that includes mastery of the timely insult and venomous imputation. They need to taste their own lash.