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Do other Kossacks imply you are a concern troll?  Do you find your "but what about voter suppression!" posts being scorned?  Do you remember going to sleep on that Tuesday  night in November 2000 having seen Florida called for Gore, only to awaken to an eight year nightmare?

If so, the Coop is your election season home.  Bring your fears and anxieties here, and vent.  

Because I am doing a research project involving the use of hate speech in online communities, I spend a reasonable amount of time reading "The Free Republic".  You all know what that means.  Enter that echo chamber with extreme caution.  As a result, I can sometimes get a "skewered" (oh, that word!) view of reality.  I know they are not a fact-based group of folks, and yet....what if??

Yes, what if?  What if they are right??!  What if all the polls are oversampling Democrats and minorities, what if Nate Silver really is a Democratic gay New York based tool of the communists (yes, they really said that), what if....

Well, okay.  I don't actually believe any of that stuff. But like a lot of you, I was damaged in some fundamental ways by Election 2000 and the invasion of Iraq.  I know the media's job is to report all the news that the ruling class wants you to believe. ( And I sometimes think that the quote often attributed to Emma Goldman, "If voting could change anything, it would be illegal" - is true. )

That said, I should report that one thing I've found to be unerringly true in my five years of reading Free Republic is this:  They have a highly unusual relationship with reality.  They refuse to acknowledge facts that challenge, let alone negate, their belief system.   That is one helluva tight echo chamber.  It's a lot like fundamentalist Christianity, a belief system I became highly familiar with during my 20 years as a homeschooler.  Their belief structure looks a lot like a very fragile Jenga structure.  Pull one piece out - it will all collapse.  Here is a fascinating thread on there today, discussing the Pennsylvania voter ID laws: Judge hints he may block Penn. voter ID law  It's pretty illustrative of the level of divorce from reality that has infected the Republican party of today.  

So, take heart, have courage, and all that.  

"We're sick and tired of the ism/schism
die and go to heaven in an ism/schism
We know and we overstand
almighty God is a living man
Well, you can fool some people some times
but you can't fool all the people all of the time
And now you see the light
what you gonna do?
Stand up for your right!

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