I try to make a habit of responding to most of the comments people make about my articles and postings. I do that to show my appreciation to those who take the time to read and comment on my work. However, there are some types of comments I will not respond to. It would obviously be a complete waste of time to do so.
I will not respond to stupid comments. I define a stupid comment as one in which someone tries to argue something that they are obviously ignorant about. Logic would not appeal to them, so they would just come back with more of the same drivel. Responding to such a comment would be like trying to eat soup with a fork.
For example, someone responded to a recent article that I did about Rand Paul. In the response, this person tried to imply that Rand Paul is a neo-con. Rand Paul might be a lot of things but he is certainly not that. In fact, he is the antithesis of a neo-con. This person obviously didn’t have the foggiest idea what a neo-con is, but that didn’t stop him or her from trying to pin that label on someone.
And then there are those knuckleheads who think they’re putting me in my place with a lot of ignorant babble that, in many cases, is fraught with errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Those kinds of comments serve only as a monument of humiliation to their author. There’s no point in answering such self-inflicted wounds.
I take time to think out what I want to say. I choose my words carefully. If someone comments on something I write without actually having read it, why should I bother to respond? I want people to comment on stuff that I have written, not on something that they have imagined that I wrote. I tend to ignore comments based on the latter.
I favor comments that are based on facts and logic. I frown on thoughtless, emotional, or fanatical generalizations. For example, if I say I oppose some tenets of Affirmative Action and someone tersely responds, “You’re a racist.” If you’re going call me something like that, at least have the decency to provide a thought-out explanation of why you believe I’m a racist.
At least that would provide the foundation for a sensible debate. But how is someone supposed to respond to someone else calling them a racist then running away? In cases like that, it’s tempting to come back with something pithy and sarcastic. But I generally try to resist that temptation. Generally.