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A man who asked his parents with “hands shaking” and “tears in eyes” to remove a pro-Trump sign in their yard came back with an apology after his rant backfired.
Writer Leo Guinan penned a personal recounting of the lessons he learned after giving his family an ultimatum on their display of support for President Trump, explaining in a follow-up entry on Medium this week that although he “wanted to trigger a response” with his initial piece, he wanted his apology to “go viral” as well.
Guinan came under heavy fire after he posted the article, titled, “Today I Gave My Dad A Choice: Trump or His Grandkids and His Son,” last week.
The writer had expressed that he was “really pissed” to discover that his parents had put up a Trump sign in their yard and he let them know how he felt in a text message, telling them to choose between the sign and seeing their grandchildren.
“Due to the signs in the yard, the kids and I will not be down,” he wrote that he told them in his message. “The current occupant of the White House is preaching hate and violence, endangering the lives and safety of many of my friends. This is not acceptable to me at all. There is a complete disregard for women, minorities, science, ethics, and morality. Please consider if you support Trump that much. Because I hate him that much. I wanted to be upfront and honest about my feelings.”
Guinan admitted that he was pleased with his stand and that “the more I thought about it, the more I agreed with the message.”
“At this point, it is not acceptable to me. You can vote for whom you wish. But I can choose who I surround myself with. I love my dad, but I can’t be around him until he understands how vital I believe this election to be and what is truly at stake,” he wrote. “It is not easy. But it was necessary. Now to see what fallout occurs.”
And the “fallout” did come.
“Earlier this week, I went viral for a text that I sent to my dad. Now, I would like to go viral with my apology to him,” he wrote.
“It went viral because I wanted it to. I took an emotional moment in my life and framed it in a specific way because I wanted to trigger a response. And I did. I got a lot of responses. Mostly negative, because that is what I wanted to feed off of. I read a lot of the feedback I received. And I received a lot,” Guinan explained.
“I was trying to prevent others from being manipulated by manipulating them. And I was doing this because I had the ability to, through social networks. And I let that go to my head,” he wrote. “I am sorry to everyone who experienced that. It made me truly realize the incredibly destructive power that social media can provide. It sucked me into doing the very same behaviors I thought I was fighting.”
The writer, who described himself as being “toward the liberal end of the spectrum,” noted that he realized the irony of the situation when he found himself the topic of discussion on the Rush Limbaugh show.
“I realized that polarizing behavior was what social media emphasizes, and it caught me too,” he wrote, admitting that when he “started publishing to social media” his personal perspective, he was attempting to gain followers and “influence people to read my writing.”
“Who am I to wield that kind of power over anyone’s behavior?” he asked.
“I apologized to my dad in person. I screwed up with him, and I owned that. I am ok with making mistakes because that is the best way to learn,” Guinan wrote. “So I screwed up in a big way. And I am going to apologize in a big way. And when I apologize, I like to do so in a specific way.”
He explained that he had deleted all of his social media accounts, saying they were “toxic to my life.”
“I found balance in my life through my writing and lost it when I started to involve social media,” Guinan admitted, inviting his readers to consider their own activities.
“I invite everyone to examine the role social media plays in their lives. I realized it was a toxic presence in mine, and decided to remove it,” he concluded. “I will continue to write through Medium, and share my personal experiences here. But I will no longer be involving social media. It came very close to ruining my life. I refuse to let it do that.”
Guinan’s attempt to apologize got mixed reactions on Twitter where some users applauded his remorse while others did not think it was enough.
Good for him for realizing his mistake and apologizing.
— Tom Kummer (@Aquaman300) September 22, 2020
Congrats to this guy. I’m glad he realized he was being foolish.
— Joseph Steidle (@joseph_steidle) September 22, 2020
I am curious though to see whether the grandparents chose the Trump signs or the grandchildren…
— brian geary (@BrianJLG) September 22, 2020
Dude had some serious issues. Can’t handle his social media without becoming toxic. Sounds like a great candidate for some therapy. One extreme to the next.
— Bardley Mayhem (@BardleyMayhem) September 22, 2020
This is a perfect example of how the democrats are taught to treat anyone other than themselves. This level of hater is far beyond politics.
If you can’t agree to disagree with a family member or friend, then you are the one at fault. You are the bigot.
— Scott Michaels (@scottbmichaels) September 22, 2020
Social media is a tool. Blaming the tool for your inappropriate use is externalizing blame. That’s a dangerous mindset. It’s blaming the hammer because you smashed your thumb.
Saying social media is the problem isn’t “owning” your actions.
— GT (@gtown615) September 23, 2020
Trump derangement syndrome can make you do and say really stupid things! Hope you learned a lesson! Teach something good to your children, not hate!
— Florida Captain (@florida_captain) September 22, 2020
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