It’s a common occurrence whenever politics is mentioned. Heads literally explode. People turn into different creatures. Dinners are ruined. Dates destroyed. Extra care should be taken whenever bringing up the subject, for it could lead to pain. And for God’s sake, don’t go onto the internet.

The nice thing about meeting people is it, in most cases, tends to be courteous. You can discuss things without biting each other’s heads off. Honest debate can be had, and no one needs to tell the other to implode. Well, unless it’s really difficult. Then a biting of the lip is in order. Proclaiming you’re a Tory could become the equivalent of saying ‘hello, I’m a sadist, mass murderer and am losing all of my fingers” on a first date. Remarking, off the cuff, about how silly Margaret Thatcher was could be like punching their little sister in the face. Thankfully, people actually know how to bite their lip and even (shock and horror) entertain opposing opinions.

Online, however, this amazing ability seems to vanish completely. Look, I’m sure @angryinternetsocialist is a lovely person. But let’s just say it’s incredibly easy to become an instrument of class oppression and bourgeois establishment and are definitely elitist anti-equality scum.

@Angryinternettrumpvoter might have a great family and stable job, but we’re definitely paid for by the Clinton campaign and represent an establishment (or Zionist) plot to stop the #TrumpTrain, or want to implement a mass killing of your family. I don’t mean to sound a tad wet, but why can’t we all be a little bit nicer to each other?

Call me an idealist, but is seeing how many different ways to say “you’re a twat” really constructive? We need a rule that if you resort to going ad hominem you’ve definitely lost the debate. A notification on your phone or something. “Uh oh! You were mean to him. You lose.” Like Club Penguin. Ok, maybe not but you get the idea. See what I did there? Changed my mind! That’s something that never happens on the internet. Well, that and being nice to Owen Jones.

It can become quite funny to see a floundering interwebling defend an untenable position just because the arguments against ARE DEFINITELY A MEDIA SMEAR ARRRRRRGGGGHHHH. People on either side do not like being called “RACIST!” and “COMMUNIST! and “WEIRD SNAKING FASCIST HITLER STALIN MAN!”. Reasoned debate = good. Hitler Tourettes = bad. Easy.

Hey, if Jones and Peter Hitchens can get together without pain, suffering or swearing then anything can happen. Pigs could fly. Nicola Sturgeon could go a whole speech without saying “Tawry Awsteeritee”. Unlikely, yes, but possible.

And if that can happen, the trolls can go to bed and we can all live in a nice place. Peace and harmony for evermore.

Cameron Scheijde
Cameron is a member of the Liberal Democrats, contributor for the BBC generation 2016 project, and currently a student, studying Politics and International Relations at the University of Bristol. He is also a member of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain.

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