**Warning, strong language ahead
Dear ALEC (that’s @ALEC_states on twitter),
Why is the millennial face of your organization, the American Legislative Exchange Council, William Freeland, who is also subject to delusions of grandeur and makes outlandish claims for which he provides no evidence, a trolling misogynist lying bully?
I get it — people are rude and unkind. Yes, I’ve lived on Earth more than a decade; I know the drill. It also makes 100% sense to me that you would have trolls in your employ who would be specifically assigned the task of illogically, relentlessly, insultingly, crudely and also, for the sake of variety, passive-aggressively engaging and attacking anyone who criticizes your master plan to target state legislators and inspire them to act as human roadblocks by standing in the way of any of American society’s attempts to prevent climate change, protect workers rights, and end the United States’ dependency on foreign oil. It’s a brilliant strategy you’ve designed and I always give credit where credit is due. Kudos, ALEC. Focusing on the local level is noticed less, by fewer people, is talked about less, by fewer media outlets, and entails far less resistance from voters. Who turns out for local elections anyway? (Insert rhetorical group laughter here. No, make that the sound of chortling.) And trolls are the perfect complement to your national strategy: they misinform, they confuse, and thus they systematically divide and conquer the general population. The confused mind shuts down, turns the channel, closes the newspaper, seeks distraction such as “reality” TV, facebook, and instagram, and logically focuses instead on things it does understand: parenting, eldering, working, working out, dating, partying, going to school, paying bills, running errands — all activities that are easy to check off the list if only because they have been completed so many times before and have become habitual. And most strategically, the confused mind will feel morally justified in saying, “I didn’t vote because I didn’t really understand the issues.”
Most strategically, the confused mind will feel morally justified in saying, “I didn’t vote because I didn’t really understand the issues.”
Most people’s moral compass — fully intact, despite a muddled mind — causes them to see voting from a place of confusion as a kind of fraud, as a type of lying or cheating that’s “just not right,” and thus not an act of dishonesty they can approve of taking part in. In other words, the person who doesn’t show up to the polls on election day who can honestly say, “well, I don’t watch the news [guilt guilt guilt] — that’s why I didn’t vote. I don’t even know the issues,” feels that they’re doing the right thing by staying home! Little do they realize that they are being bombarded with “news,” all the time, conflicting reports filled with mis- and dis-information. Which is why they avoid it. It leaves them confused and feeling guilty that they don’t know what to think. Voting? They don’t feel they deserve such a privilege if they haven’t earned it by studying up on the issues. And the cycle perpetuates itself. Oh, yes, ALEC, you are admirably and masterfully implementing your plan. And confusing the masses is the glue that holds all the pieces of that plan together.
But ALEC, your trolls are supposed to be better trained. They’re supposed to pee only on the paper and not splash any vitriol on the company. You see, William Freeland isn’t just a super troll, he works for you. It says ALEC is his employer on his linkedin page. So when he lies, bullies, tells a woman who calls him a cunt that she is projecting onto him (yes, unbelievable — that’s why I took a screenshot of it in case he deletes the tweet), and egregiously makes false claims and baseless accusations, it’s so odd that you would divert from a working strategy that uses anonymized trolls and instead veer into unwise territory by associating an identifiable, google-able troll directly with you, your organization, and your reputation. Trolls are supposed to operate covertly. The way he tweets on twitter like a baby screaming for attention from its crib — nonstop and incoherently — and then turns around and reveals that you are his employer makes you look bad. Very bad. Like, surprisingly bad. Unexpectedly unprofessional and uncouth.
That is all.
Ok, dear social justice activists, enough of my chit-chat with ALEC. Here come all of the lies, the insults, the screaming for attention, the deflection, the misogyny, the outrageous baseless claims and most interestingly, the fear once William Freeland realizes he has backed himself into a corner.
Starting with the original tweet of mine that William Freeland started trolling me on:
*At this point, I was like, what? Who — whaaaaa? I tweeted at him first? Obsessively tweet about him? Daily? Now, if you know how to win a troll war (I got this from Sun Tzu of course), the key is to never contradict an obvious lie right away when you can easily disprove it later. Instead, let the troll think they have the upper hand by not objecting — they will dig their own hole even more deeply, even more quickly and you will win faster. (Wait till you find out what he was actually referring to! That he works for ALEC. So he was conflating my tweets about ALEC with tweets about him! Yes! I know! And ALEC pays him real money! To represent them! In public!)
Oh! So he finally clarifies and reveals that he works for ALEC!! But the best is the way he says it: “I, of ALEC, was terrifying …” LOL!! And then he insults me and assumes I am a garden variety Daily Kos reading, tea drinking stereotype. LOVE IT!! He has never clicked on the link to my blog (in my twitter profile) once! But do I contradict him? No, as Sun Tzu says, “Never contradict a troll. Don’t give him any reason to put down the shovel!! Let him dig his own grave.” Or, actually, that might have been Churchill. So I merely point out — again — that even though I’m so disgusting to him, he keeps following me. Why?
So at this point, he has called me deranged and obsessive twice (the second time is where he quotes his own tweet, just above). Deranged!! Really? Does he not realize how illogical he’s being? I mean, it’s not even an insult. He could have called me a doorknob and it would have made as much sense.
Now at this point, a well-meaning follower tries to tell me to stop engaging with the troll; watch how William reacts. Note that he specifically tells me what to do: that will be relevant later.
And now back to the main thread. I had just tweeted, “But you seemed so certain before that you had a claim against me” (yes, that’s the crappy part of creating these blogposts with embedded tweets; tweets would be best visually displayed in the shape of a family tree but blogposts are linear). And he replies:
This is what, the second or the third time he’s called me confused. And of course it’s “sad” — he wants me to know how much he pities me. That would trigger a defensive reaction in most people (which is what he wants it to trigger in me, too) but for me, his word choices just provide me with additional insight into his shadow self.
He doesn’t reply to that, but in picking back up on his recommendation that I “bow out” (because remember, he’s in the habit of commanding people to roll over and display submission because he has an inferiority complex and this is how he attempts to assert dominance and leverage control over others), I simply redirect, circling back to the point, which is, if I am truly deranged and obsessive, as he claims, then he should clearly file a complaint with Twitter Support, with evidence to back up this outlandish accusation:
Oh! He doesn’t like to be told what to do? He certainly likes to tell others what to do! Oh, and note how much it irritates him, especially coming from a woman!
And that leads us to the final tweet of this exchange, where I once again ask him what it is about me that compels him to follow me despite my alleged derangement.
He refused to answer my question not once but three times, which is how I won the twitter war (whoever is the first to stop replying is the loser in a twitter war).
I tweeted that (“Twitter family, you are the best” — at the very top of the image above) because so many of my followers came to my defense during the trolling and let William know how horrible he was being to me. And if you guessed that he was just as terrible to them, you guessed right. Even more terrible. Just a few examples:
And he actually tells her, “Don’t project” — that’s it’s “unbecoming.”
This is how pathologically passive-aggressive he is. He attacks people and baits them, attacks and baits. That’s his M.O. Then they call him a name and like the prepared predator he is, instantly he readily explains, oh no, you’re projecting. It is amazing — nay, mind boggling — that ALEC would affiliate itself for a millisecond with a man who would tell a woman that she is projecting cunt traits onto him. And of course, he can say, “Well, she called me a cunt first. She was asking for it.”
ALEC, if you don’t know you’ve got a serious liability on your hands, you are far far less intelligent than I first gave you credit for.
And here he insults another friend of mine — for what? She doesn’t even attack him, she just says she disagrees:
And then this:
And here’s where he freaks out when I tweet that ALEC ought to know what kind of person they have representing them on Twitter (these are not all part of a thread so they’re not all embedded in a particular order).
LOL, I never called him a cunt nor did I tell him it was unbecoming of him to project onto me when he called me confused, deranged and obsessed multiple times. (Because I think he is none of those things; I think he is mean and a bully. And a liar and a misogynist.)
More hilariosity: it’s no more libelous for me to call him a lying bullying misogynist than for him to call me a deranged, confused, obsessed progressive intelligentsia operative (next paragraph). Although, at least there’s evidence for my claims. He flat out lied about me tweeting about him daily – ha!! That was the most entertaining part, his conveniently leaving out the fact that it is ALEC I tweet about (not him) and not daily. A brief twitter search showed me that it’s usually about twice a month that I tweet a series of 10 to 15 #StopALEC tweets.
And I saved the best part for last. William accuses me of being on the payroll of the liberal elite here:
HA! You know when they say you really know you’re living your passion when you’d do what you’re doing for free? Well, guess what, that’s bullshit. You won’t end up doing it “for free” — you’ll pay for it. Twice. With your time and your money. I pay for this website (it’s cheap, $30 twice a year because I have the wordpress upgrade), the postcards and stamps for my Postcarding for Progress meetup, equipment for making videos, and on and on. And I spend hours on twitter and hours blogging (for example, this post itself has literally taken hours just to finish all this godawful embedding of tweets), hours I can’t (or in truth, choose not to) spend doing anything else. And I take orders from no one. And that means I receive money from no one.
I almost replied, “Yeah right, on my $373/week unemployment benefit” but I couldn’t truthfully say that because my 26 weeks of unemployment insurance ended last month. YEAH. I used to have a day job as a debt collector. I am not a political operative, never have been, and no one directs my tweets, and I am the only one who tweets in my name.
Multiple people? Which of my tweets ever indicated that? And as far as being part of a progressive microcosm, clearly William never took 30 seconds to read my self-description on this blog or to spend a minute perusing my posts. I call myself a progressive patriot *because* I have views that aren’t necessarily liberal (like going back on the gold standard) and because the Bill of Rights is so important to me. I wish I could make money off my passion. I made over a hundred videos in as many days on youtube in 2014 and they never got more than 25 or 30 views each; my goal was to monetize my channel so I could have a source of income besides a day job, and ultimately instead of one. (I just had to accept that I am not that interesting, or at least not interesting enough for people to hit “subscribe.”) The bottom line is I don’t represent anyone but myself and I do not get money to tweet. And to that end, I am going to post my Unemployment Insurance benefits history right now. As my regular followers know, I went back to school this past fall. When I was laid off back in May, I found out that I qualified for the Dislocated Worker Program because of how many employees at our site were laid off at the same time (or some reason like that — it’s a state program that disburses federal funds for education and MNDEED told me I qualified for it). This was such a gift, such an unexpected opportunity to go back to college after dropping out when I was 18, a true second chance. And I am so proud of myself for taking the leap and going back after 16 years out of the classroom; as of January 4, I can officially say I have 12 college credits to my name.
(This is not to say I don’t accept gifts — just make sure you clearly write GIFT in the memo line of the check or money order you send me or else it will screw up my FAFSA next school year.)
Finally, I want to say that one of the people I admire most is Ralph Nader who wrote, “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left–Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.” I know well that people are far more comfortable with labels like red or blue or right or wrong or democrat or republican and that is not me. There have been times I lost followers for retweeting Justin Amash or Rand Paul on 4th Amendment issues and there have been just as many times I lost followers for criticizing Hillary on her psuedo-feminism and Wall Street ties. I am not interested in being divided and conquered and falling prey to anyone’s agenda, especially not ALEC’s. Trolls, consider this very fair warning. If you tread your self-righteous way into the quagmire of my twitter timeline, be very prepared to get stuck there.
January 7th update!! William thanked me for this blogpost! What, no more accusations of libel? Well, fantastic! It’s great to know he approves of my analysis of his underlying motivations and commensurately approves of my analysis of ALEC’s two part strategy to use both anonymized and identified trolls to spread confusion as the glue that holds their Divide & Conquer strategy together. Further, it is delightful to feel his gratitude amidst the certainty that he has no objections regarding the accuracy of any of the claims in this post!
Oh, and William, one more thing. I know you said in one of your tweets that your mom is a good person and I believe that. It was most likely your father or another father figure who, while you were growing up, made you constantly feel that you weren’t good enough. But I don’t believe that your mom would be proud of the way you treat people you’ve never even met. I can’t imagine a scenario where she reads your tweet to Sharon and doesn’t shake her head, ashamed of the way she didn’t protect you from an overbearing father or stepfather who taught you by example that it was okay to use words as weapons to constantly attack women. You’re being used by ALEC. Ask her if you don’t believe me. It’s not too late of course to make a new decision. You certainly have plenty of drive you could channel into a libertarian cause that is organized by people who don’t hate women. I hope you will.