I’ve had a few revelations from a year of a pandemic. The last year has been a very educational one.
- People will hang on to fear like a starving person hangs on to food.
- Sometimes speaking the truth will sound harshly and unavoidably selfish.
- There is no dialogue that will abridge divides in the United States.
A Deeper Dive
I haven’t written here since last summer. The events of last summer felt like watching a society in collapse. We’re all still here, but I think our society is definitely broken. Fear mongering is the language of all major media outlets. The capitol of the country is surrounded by fences and national guardsmen.
False dichotomies would have us believe red and blue are either the answer or the problem. While most major news media outlets favor the blue, alternative outlets tend to favor the red. Either you’re a communist or a fascist. I am either a socialist or a constitutionalist.
There no longer is an effort for common ground. All events are painted and narrated in an effort to promote political ideology. This has lead to some pretty interesting arguments.
- Gun control
- Fake News
Masking is a half-hearted effort to “do something” to push back against the spread of coronavirus. Having said that, it is impossible to argue against masking without sounding completely selfish and irresponsible. Either you support questionably effective mandates against public breathing, or you don’t care about the lives of half a million people.
I hear people argue against mask mandates and the continuation of publish shaming of those who disagree with masking. While I tend to agree with their point of view, it always sounds cringeworthy to hear that out loud.
Institutional and Structural Racism
The resurgence of the debate of Racism is also difficult. Institutional racism has been illegal for over 50 years. On paper, it shouldn’t exist.
This is one I can’t speak from significant experience on. So, I refer to my friends who do have experience. While some also agree structural racism isn’t a reality, most do not.
I can’t legitimately discredit their life experience, but it’s cognitive dissonance to me.
Sensible Gun Control and Reform
Gun control is the one that hits me pretty hard. I’m a firm proponent of firearm rights. I have a significant amount of experience in the gun culture though.
Friends and family who do not have this experience, only have popular culture (news, tv shows, movies, etc) to refer to. From that perspective, there is an “epidemic of gun violence” that plagues the US like no other country in the world.
I can speak about gun violence facts all day. However, I speak on deaf ears. I see the blank stares, the look of disdain, the retreat from dialogue.
Fake News – The Real Problem
All of these topics are secondary to the real issue at hand – Fake News. I’ll make a strong statement on this – there is no legitimate news source without strong political bias. None.
To summarize all of this…
The framework of the debates we have on topics has become a circular argument. No hard stance on anything is possible without the discrediting of different viewpoints. Further, people’s viewpoints have become so hardened, that any distinction from them is seen as a violent attack on their beliefs.
I’ve deleted social media accounts to protect myself from backlash. I can’t afford to lose employment because someone finds themselves offended by my personal beliefs. Friends and family of mine often encourage me to keep those beliefs private.
This is dystopia. The only way I’ve been able to have a normal life is to avoid the news and social media. Anytime I check the pulse of these things, I’m immediately drawn back into the psychotic battles of extremist arguments.
I have no uplifting message of hope to offer here. I’ve worked hard to be empathetic to the voices of others. That effort is not reciprocated. Revelations From a Year of a Pandemic – Unless people are willing to see other people as they see themselves, we’re all gonna die.