Chris Valle examines how practical issues end up being discussed in terms of emotions and that they can also seem childish, and even exploitative, in the way they are reported.
Despite what some people think of the power of a single vote, you certainly have the power to weave enough rope to hang yourself. When you stand up in protest, be careful not to kick the chair out from under you.
I’m not sure how many members of the Regressive Angry Party will read this, but here goes nothing. When smart people start talking, stop hurling your feces for a sec and try to hear them out. Maybe they don’t deserve outright deference or maybe they haven’t remotely earned your trust, but stop and ask yourself what your plan is for the future. Does that plan fit into a single slogan on a hat? Okay, well, then it’s not a plan. Recognize that the boring process of government that you won’t take time to learn about is at least occasionally successful, having provided national defense, paved roads, education, mail delivery, yadda yadda yadda—that old shit. There’s plenty of room for maintenance and improvement, even radical change, but even those of us somehow diametrically opposed to the powers that be do benefit, at least indirectly, from their existence. However, if you hate Government so much, there are places you can live that have none whatsoever. Somalia, for example.
So many angry boneheads seem to think that modern society has been inflicted upon them to crush their freedom … whatever “freedom” means now. (Mostly shootings, fracking, and rape, I think.) As if we have some tradition of long, easy lives with numerous guarantees and safeguards for the average working person. Even our Archie Comics-level history textbooks will show that this just isn’t true. Unless you’re Thomas Jefferson … the Thomas Jefferson … the good old days were not as good as they are oft remembered.
Which brings us to … The Backlash against the Growing Presence and Influence of the Other.
There are Britons and Americans who are having to accommodate, politically and socially, people they never considered their peers … or ever considered at all. Diversity and multiculturalism, within domestic politics and immigration, has been thrust upon us without a broader social effort to emphasize shared values and ease seemingly disparate peoples into some sustainable degree of tolerance and cooperation. Recent geopolitical events have turbocharged the rate and intensity of this population clash, and as ineffectual as sitting governments have been to prevent or mitigate those crises, they have been grossly negligent in their political approach to assuring people that their interests, safety, and identities are being considered and protected. Maybe because they’re fully complicit in the conflicts and economic schemes that provoke mass exodus, maybe they’re just not that good at their jobs, but there it is.
There has, however, been a concerted effort by opposition groups to underscore, exaggerate, and ultimately misrepresent differences between groups that are real, but by no means unmanageable. This emotional exploitation has boiled over into a reactionist feeding frenzy wherein “The Other” and “The Man” are now “The Enemy” and any alternatives presented, however foolish, are being raised as solutions without caution and in defiance of fairly pointed criticism.
Despite its many flaws, modern society is a blessing these Lizard People never would have created for themselves and would sorely miss if it were to disappear, literally beyond their ability to articulate. It’s a backhanded compliment, in a way, that people are so comfortable and smug in the success of other people’s ideas and hard work that they have the confidence to tear it apart with no follow-up plan whatsoever.
Be careful what monsters you create in your anger; they will outlive your mood.