… the opposition to S. 894, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2011.
It’ll be the featured bill in the WashingtonWatch.com email newsletter this week, so a lot of people will be clicking through to read the comments.
What will they see?
One person—a logged-in user—who supports the bill says, “I hope this bill passes.” That’s nice.
Another person has taken a real interest in opposing the bill. He calls himself “Yep!” and he pretends like he’s a greedy veteran who is going to make more money if this bill passes. “Yep!” says things like “Yessir, now I’m going down to the boat dealer and start looking for that new boat.” And he repeats similar comments over and over again.
How do you suppose this will affect the thinking of people who are looking at the page for the bill?
People generally look to other people for opinions and advice. When someone is informative, polite, and fair, they’ll tend to credit that person’s views. When someone is rude and unhelpful, they’ll tend to dismiss that person’s views. The likely results of Yep!’s comments is to drive people in the opposite direction from what Yep! wants—to support of the bill. Needless to say, that’s not good advocacy.
The average person probably wants to see our veterans cared for, and probably also worries about the size of our national debt. (The bill spends about $150 per U.S. family, increasing the national debt by that much.) So people have to make a decision about this bill.
When they go to investigate, they’ll find that the person supporting the bill has politely shared his or her opinion. The person opposing the bill has a sarcastic tone and has posted the same (or a similar) comment several times.
If you have an opinion on this bill, you can put it in the comments, of course. Be polite and fair, and you’ll do better than “Yep!”
Here’s hoping that you contribute positively to the content of the site, and in so doing bring other people closer to your point of view.