Yesterday, a long-time O.H.M. reader-stalker who doesn't like my opinions and doesn't understand the First Amendment came for me in real life, trying to silence me by directly threatening my reputation and my job.
What she did is bullying, plain and simple, but I handled it the way I handle all bullies and the same way I tell my kids to deal with bullying: by firmly standing up to it, and then promptly disengaging.
The reality is, if I spent time engaging with everyone who harasses me online or in person, I would never write a word. I would spend all my time fending off criticism and I would be even more miserable than the deeply miserable people who bully and harass me.
That's not why I write this blog. I write this blog on my free time, for free and without ads, for myself and my readers to enjoy.
Not so I can clap back at every troll with a grudge and a laptop.
Lately, I've been outspoken about the distinct threat to democracy that I believe our current President and his fascist, neo-Nazi advisers present to the country and to global human rights. So naturally, I have come into the crosshairs of people who disagree with me about that, and that is fine. I don't bear those folks ill will.
I've said before and I will say again that I consider all Americans, whether they voted for Trump or not and whether they like him or not, to be on the same team and subject to the same unique, unprecedented dangers that Donald Trump presents. Just yesterday, he called a 99-0 Bush-appointed federal judge who ruled against his immigration ban a "so-called judge."
That's a terrifying thing, to be sure. When SCOTUS rules against him one day (and it will), then are they "so-called judges" too? EVERYONE should worry about such an assertion from a sitting president, because it's an apolitical and direct threat to our tripartite system of government.
Speaking of direct threats, people tell me I have brass balls for my honesty and outspokenness, but this is just how I am. I put the same energy into my job, my relationships, and everything I do.
If there was ever a time in history to NOT let yourself be bullied, it's now. You can't let bullies try to silence you and tell you to stop speaking up. If you don't have some skin in the game, your words and opinions mean nothing. And if you crawl into a little mouse hole the first time someone makes a real threat against you, you have already lost.
At least for me, welp ... that's not going to happen.