Solving the World’s Problems on Facebook

My friend posted the following cartoon on her Facebook wall:


It elicited 20-something politically-tinged comments.  There are several examples of this on Facebook, but this type of thing is not confined to Facebook.  It seems to me that debate on important issues in this society is steered by cute, made-for-Facebook cartoons rather than by facts and reason.  This drags everyone down.

 The comments to the above post went as follows:

 I read some statistics a few weeks ago, Trying to remember where! That only 2% of illegals take farm related jobs, the rest take construction, hospitality and restaurant type jobs. Hate it when I can’t remember where I read stuff, haha. I think thats a very small percentage, compared to everyone saying that only illegals do the jobs no one else wants here in the US.  I also think the argument that illegal aliens do jobs that no one else wants is fallacious: it does not support the pro-illegal immigration position.  In fact, in some ways, it undermines it.  Trying to disprove this argument is a fool’s errand.

 No way! I wanna see that! I mean not every hispanic in the field must be an illegal, but that is all I ever see out there, so I would assume a good percentage would be immigrants.  Yes, that 2% figure is probably wrong, but why does it matter?

 I still think this is “cute”.  Yes, it is a cute cartoon.

 I did find online that 60% of illegals are farm workers, but that was from the NYTimes, and I don’t consider them a fair and balanced reporting tool for many reasons!… My main pet peeve is… they are mainly paid illegally, in cash, and that money mostly goes back to Mexico. And thats after they have used their debit cards, received their housing allowances, and had medical paid for. It doesn’t support the US economy like it should, and now we are collapsing from the strain. Just makes me mad and sad…  It’s good that the commenter went back and corrected the earlier-quoted 2% figure; 60% is probably closer to the truth – even if it is in the NYT.  After that, some legitimate points are made, mixed in with other stuff that really doesn’t add to the illegal immigration debate.

 i work at a homeless shelter about half of them are immigrants and about 80% of those work in the feilds they are hard workers and good people.  Yes, I’m sure all illegal immigrants are good people.

 I don’t know my stuff…but I know they are our brothers and sisters and I wish this world would work together as a whole and not separate nations! we should all take care of each other. … On a separate note…the picture is funny!  Half the world’s population is governed by tyrants and real religious intolerance.  Furthermore, there is an amazing amount of cultural and ethnic diversity among the peoples of the world.  This (separate nations) is just the way the world is.  The picture is funny, though.

 I would gladly accept any race as my brother or sister, but it seems that no matter how hard we try, we are always the bad people, the racists. I just don’t get it! Until other races stop blaming the ‘whites’ for all their problems, and accept that we are all brothers and sisters, it will continue to be this way.  I don’t get it either. How has this thread turned into a commentary on race relations?

 That is exactly how I feel. I have an issue with any group of people getting special benefits because of their skin color, etc. We should all have the same rights and benefits as one another.  We all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  No one can guarantee the same benefits.

 Yes! no one is better than the other!  It depends on what is meant by “better”.  David Beckham is better than me at soccer.

 If you want more people to come here the legal way, we need to vastly revise our immigration system. Right now it is taking several years to get citizenship, and partially based on a LOTTERY system! In my opinion, if someone wants citizenship – they should be allowed to have it. Give them X months to find a job/prove productivity, make them ineligible to receive state aid until after their probationary period of (Say..1 year?? to make sure they are contributing to society and not leaching from it) Sign them up, get them a SSN card, and put them to work legally ASAP.  Everyone thinks they have a solution.  Except that there hasn’t been one offered by Congress.  The current immigration law resulted from our democratic process and should be enforced.

 I dont have time to read this whole thing but I can trace my family tree and I’m pretty shure we were imigrant potato farmers.  Great, but what does this have to do with current immigration law?

 Then there is this gem from Elizabeth Warren, a candidate to represent Massachusetts in the US Senate in 2012. 


 President Obama recently voiced similar sentiments on the campaign trail.  Here’s the reaction to Obama from the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business.  This is apparently the “Occupy Wall Street, Tax the Rich, Pay Your Fair Share” argument.  I don’t know the precise contribution of the public sector (road construction, law enforcement, etc…) to the successes of businesses.  What the above cartoon fails to mention, though, is that every American has the opportunity to benefit from the public sector in the same way that successful businessmen and women have done. 

Finally, there is this commentary from Jon Stewart on gay rights and, presumably, gay marriage. 

In my opinion, Jon Stewart is a clown who traded his job as a comedian for a career in political punditry.  He has never been good at either job.  I attempted to point out the fallacies in the cartoon, but I ended up using some heated rhetoric and offending some of my friends.  The biggest fallacy in the cartoon, the one that I was too timid to point out, is that of course Religion and one’s relationship with his Creator is more innate than one’s sexuality.  Sexuality is not paramount to Religion.

 It is evident that debates driven by made-for-Facebook cartoons are characterized by false information and arguments, a lack of structure and focus, and sometimes anger and frustration.  The problem comes when we substitute cute cartoons and campaign comments for reason and civil discourse.  This problem drags down everyone in society, as well as the society itself.

1 Comment

Filed under Politics and culture

One response to “Solving the World’s Problems on Facebook

  1. Alex Jones

    Word-smiths are like magicians in that they can play you with images and words to react as exactly as they want you. Question everything, watch for hidden agendas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s