Look, there’s no getting around the fact that the news is grim lately. The two shootings (three if you count the Garlic Festival), Joaquin Castro’s listing the names and employers of Trump donors, and so many Americans are angry, on edge, quick to blame, and itching to lash out . . . and way too many voices in public life are amping up the tension instead of trying to calm people down.
If you try to discuss this on Twitter or in most online forums, within a few minutes you’ll probably get someone typing in ALL CAPS that you have blood on your hands, or death threats from someone with “No H8” in their bio.
But there’s a place where I’m consistently pleasantly surprised by the decorum, good-faith arguments, welcoming attitude, and smart thinking, over at the NRPlus Facebook group. It’s not that there’s no disagreement within the wide spectrum of members. There are NRPlus members who revere the president and members who can’t stand him. We’ve got members who lean in a more libertarian direction and ones who lean in a more traditionalist direction. We’ve even got a few who are warming up to Marianne Williamson! But it’s like a dinner party where everyone likes, or at least respects each other, and discusses, debates, and disagrees with consistent collegiality. A lot of times, it’s the political discussion you’ve been looking for but never found.
To participate, you have to join NRPlus; think of the modest fee as the cost of building a big, beautiful wall between you and the Internet trolls.