I’m not sure when it got like this. If I had to hazard a guess, at least the last ten years with the advent of social media which has had a profound influence on the proliferation of political analysis, political talk, and the injection of politics into just about every orifice of our society as a heroin addict injects that poison into their veins daily.
Everyone is a political expert, most having little more than a cursory knowledge of the things they’re ranting about. Take your side, bone up on the basics, or the basic premises of what that side stands for, and then enter the fray. Use whataboutism arguments to challenge whataboutism points, insisting your whataboutism is the legitimate whatabout while your opponent’s version has no merit because it is whataboutism, itself not a bad argument.
Here’s the process: Watch a few videos by partisans who support your side, passing off their talking points as yours but never really having a proper, reasoned, or factual argument to present when countered. So, get angry, cancel them any way possible, or even cut them out of your life as you simply cannot stomach who or what they profess to stand for. The problem is you understand only the talking points presented by some television or podcast pundit, or some cohort doctoral degreed person who did little work during the cohort but receives the same degree as everyone else; a false “expert” if ever there was one. The difference is that person has stones the size of Stonehenge and is completely unafraid to put their half-baked, moralistic views out there supported by ancillary evidence rather than hard evidence; evidence gathered by careful historical rumination and research. Call those would-be experts out on any of it and you’ll be deemed a something or other – tar and feathers to follow later.
Yes, politics affects our daily lives in as much as we allow it, and our politicians, more P.T. Barnum wannabes rather than statesmen, are eager to feed this particular beast. As long as they and their partisans, be they pseudo-college professors or “activists” can keep us at each other’s throats, the more they stand to gain. Their positions are secure, they’ll get re-elected, and they’ll continue to feed off the government teat while glancing down at us from above, the “specials” in their special place.
The Constitution, that document created in secret (so as the Founders would not be inundated with special interest groups berating them to get their way) and the foundation of what we’re supposed to hold dear is becoming, day by day, little more than an old piece of parchment, a relic from the 18th century that will look good in a museum someday. “…and this, ladies and gentlemen, is what was once used to create a country. How quaint , wouldn’t you say?”
There are those who explicitly wish for that day to come, hoping upon hope that sacred document becomes burned in an afternoon pyre to be replaced by what they believe is the answer…mostly based on social justice politics or some form of socialist utopian ideals.
Where once the population had to work for their news via MovieTone News, true journalism, or the Nightly News at 4:30, 6 and 10, we are now inundated with it, bombarded with it, and buried underneath it like so much rubble during the Blitz in 1940 over London. We cannot get away from it, and we lap it up as a dog laps up cold water on a steamy summer day. We’ve taken our sides, boarded up our windows, and have hunkered down for a fight while those that instigated it, the pundits, analysts, activists or “baiters” be they race or otherwise, sit idly by. They laugh, occasionally injecting another morality laced tirade when they think the fire is getting low. “Poke it, sir, poke it,” said Scrooge to Kratchet when the conflagration stagnated.
We are to blame, yet we deflect that blame to the other side. It’s always the other side, our side being forthright, honest, and true. The baiters of society, be they race, ethnic, or rights baiters are having their way with the fickle population, a population so easily goaded to believe what they wish us to believe because we trust them, we trust our side, and refuse to entertain the notion our side could be wrong. They can’t be…because they’re our side. The “baiters” produce work that sounds right, constructing straw man arguments which have little basis in historical fact, but sound good, seem right, and fit the niche they’ve discovered or carved for themselves, their minions eager to snap up the latest claptrap and donate to their cause.
So, we wallow in the political stew that we’re immersed in, with no way out. Cartoons on a Saturday morning? No…there is news to present, news more and more seeming as propaganda rather than actual reportage.
Sunday morning respite from the woes of the week? Never. We must continue the political pundit shows, with political analysts who are television personalities rather than actual analysts. Even our politicians are more concerned with their online presence, how they present to the public and their poll numbers than actually governing. When politicians and leaders govern by whether or not their decisions will get them reelected, we are doomed to failure. Leadership stands on its own, admitting mistakes or basking in the glory of success, not whether said decision is going to result in lower poll numbers.
But, when all is said and done, we are to blame for all of it. Every single iota. We’re the ones who don’t turn out during elections. We’re the ones that do turn out voting straight party and nothing else. We’re the ones that have trained our government officials to think money wins elections because we fall for the commercial propoganda every time. We don’t hold their feet to the fire, we vote consistently with “who brung us here”, the only explanation for members of Congress having 40+ years in office.
No, make no mistake about it; in a federal republic (which we are, we are not a democracy), it is the voter who determines office holders, and we’ve succumbed to the siren song of fancy speeches, electric personalities, and promises that are almost never kept. Consider a politician crowing about keeping a promise when they’re supposed to keep them in the first place. That’s why it was called a promise.
Consider also, the notion that people can be banned from social media for expressing wrongthink. Go against what Twitter thinks is the correct point of view and you will be banned. Same is true for Google who parses their search results, FaceBook, as well as YouTube (still owned by Google). We are increasingly being herded into groupthink by social media giants who all have their own agenda.
If politics is going to be everywhere, does it not behoove us to at least ensure all sides are presented and not cancelled? Free speech also means freedom to listen, a commodity the population is ever more rapidly losing. Once that happens in totality, then it becomes indoctrination. We all know where that leads.
How about this: Let’s turn it all off…give ourselves a break…and think for ourselves. Watch a cartoon on a Saturday morning. We might be all the better for it