Scrolling through the comments today on Facebook, reading the news this morning, I have to sum up my experience as: appalling. I know, I know: if I don’t like it, I should “just keep scrolling.” Which is what I usually do, and have been doing for months. The problem is, continuously ignoring all the imbecilic rhetoric, letting it stand and be disseminated throughout society, simply isn’t a responsible stance.
We are witnessing a historic moment in the USA – again. We’ve had a lot of those in the past few years and they haven’t all been good. Watching the refusal to accept the election results unfold – it is a coup d’état in the making, an inflammatory attempt to create dynamics that lead to civil war. If the news was coming out of the DR Congo, or South Sudan, or North Korea, I would probably shrug and shake my head with a comment of how sad that those countries continue to exhibit such corruption. But it’s not those countries in question today: it’s my country. The same country that prides itself on democracy, freedom, transparency and fairness. Yet those are not the values to which we are upholding our highest elected representatives and leaders.
And the repetitive cry of “the media is at fault! The leftist, liberal media is creating and spreading falsehoods!” Folks: get a grip. You’re consuming products of the media, too. You just choose to listen to the talking heads on Fox news – who are commentators, NOT newscasters; to read the Washington Times, New York Post, Breitbart and Epoch Times (a Falun Gong backed outlet that provides a platform for QAnon conspiracy theories and funnels financial gains back into their religious movement and fight against China). What about THAT media? Why are you so convinced that they are speaking truth and that the New York Times is not? Maybe because they’re saying what you want to hear?But let’s forget the media for an instant.
If you want to have discourse on lies, dishonesty and unethical behavior: just read Donald Trump’s twitter feed. And listen to him speak. He contradicts himself at every turn, he tells whatever story of the day pops into his head, he spews disinformation and nonsense. I don’t need the media to tell me he’s bad news – he does that perfectly competently without any help. So, we at least agree that he is competent in some things.
And the outrage over “the media” prematurely claiming a Biden/Harris victory? Please. Where was the outrage when Trump declared victory on November 4th? I didn’t see any of you all hot, foaming at the mouth and posting all over social media about how inappropriate it was. Yet a full week later and close to a complete vote count, suddenly NOW you’re offended?
We do not have to agree on politics. And despite – or maybe because of everything – I remain an idealist. I want to believe in the good of the world. In the good of humankind. I want people to be treated fair and equally, for each person’s value to be recognized and respected. I want us to exhibit care and concern for one another and work together to make the world a better place. I want each person to be empowered in the endeavors of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – and, yes, the struggle of less fortunate people to be supported and shared by those of us who are more fortunate. I want us to all exhibit responsibility for ourselves and for the collective society of which we’re a part.
Do you really disagree with all that? Or are you perhaps allowing yourself to be misled and incited by people who don’t share those values? There are plenty of people whose values are power, control, and personal gain – and seeing them continue to garner support from people who have none of those…it is heartbreaking.