Over the past few days a growing number of online agitators have taken to social media in an effort to discredit and disgrace the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who dare speak out on gun violence.
According to these keyboard warriors, the young men and women who survived the shooting are part of a big hoax, are liars, are mere cardboard cutouts -- "crisis actors" who roam the country looking for mass shootings from which to promote their anti-gun message -- all being pushed forward by the giant liberal machine that is Hillary Clinton's robot attack army.
Even a couple of former Republican congressmen, Jack Kingston of Georgia and Allen West of Florida, have joined the ol' gang, insisting (in Kingston's words) that the children are being led by "left-wing gun control activists" and (in West's puzzling words) that a "highly disturbing trend emerges between Florida and other mass shootings -- demolishes liberal narrative." Kingston, a CNN contributor, backpedaled when a clearly exasperated "New Day" co-host Alisyn Camerota challenged him on air over his tweets.
He replied, "I think it's a horrible tragedy and I am heartbroken that young people have gone through this ..." and then doubled down again: "But I also know that their sorrow can very easily be highjacked by left-wing groups who have an agenda."
As a veteran of myriad Twitter trolls, as well as someone who has often lacked the profound nobility of silence, here's my advice to the remarkable students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High:
Just ignore it.
Let other people worry about silencing the political posers and online losers trying to stop you. You keep going.
As advice-Mom-gives-you-on-the-first-day-of-school as it sounds, you are better than these people. You have been chosen, by nightmarish fate, to take up a cause, and you are doing so in the most admirable of ways. It is easy to sit at home (as I am doing right now) and angrily type away. It's even easier to do so sans the accountability that comes with the usage of a name.
You and your peers, on the other hand, made the bold decision to fight. To try and enact change. To turn one of our nation's ugliest tragedies into a beacon of hope and improvement and betterment.
You are what the United States of America is supposed to represent.
So don't merely try and ignore the idiots.
Ignore the idiots.
They are figments of imagination.
They don't exist.