Here and on Facebook, I will sometimes post something that's kind of anti-divisive, or that points out that we don't need to carry the bull-headed stubbornness of our elected servants over into our relationships with our fellow semi-hapless voters even when they're wrong. Every time -- every single time! -- a certain appallingly large proportion of the commenters use the posting as a launching pad to make points-scoring, nasty cracks about how the other side (whichever side is "other" for them) is stupid, evil, enthralled by foreign powers and/or controlled by Big Money, whilst their own side are a bunch of, if not saints, at least great benefactors to The Common Man and The American Way Of Life.
Buying vanilla or a chicken sandwich has become a political decision, completely unmoored from the quality of the product.
If you are walking around with nonsense like that in your head, the person who writes horoscopes for your morning paper or your favorite news-and-features website knows more about the world and human nature than you do.
Politicians are as human as you are. We're all wired up to make patterns from what we see and hear, patterns that we build based on our knowledge, prior experience, opinions and emotional state. This works really well if you're a savage hunting dinner with a sharpened stick, wary of big cats; you may see a few tigers where none exist but you're all the more likely to return home intact and probably bearing game. In today's complex, stimulus-rich, BS-rich world, it can make us see lots of things that aren't there -- and miss the big picture.
If you think your worst enemy are the Democrats or the Republicans, guess again; if you think it's big business or those kids who dress in black and smash windows and heads, bzzzt, nope!
Russia and China would love to see the West fail. Uncle Vlad doesn't care who wins U. S. elections as long as he can get us to doubt the validity of the election process. China snickers at democracy and stamps on it in a manner not seen since Nazi Germany started turning out the lights in Europe. Every time you question the Constitutional provisions of the Federal government, you aid their cause.
There's a lot wrong in this country, just as there's a lot wrong everywhere. There's a lot that's unfair. But the people who wrote the Constitution -- and who made provisions for amending it -- did try to keep from baking in the unfairness so deeply that it couldn't be rooted out. They left deep flaws in place, flaws that darned near tore this country apart not once but twice, and yet somehow we got through. Somehow, slowly, painfully, with great tragedy, our better natures prevailed. One reason this happened was because our basic institutions were able to buttress the good while giving up on the bad. We didn't have to burn the village to the ground in order to save it.
We still don't. No foreign power, no internal conflict can make you do so if you don't go along with it.
Stop being Putin's chump. Stop helping Red China make us look like fools. Grow the hell up.
Edited to add: And I have a few comments already that repeat divisive and alarmist nonsense, cherry-picked headlines, and slanted intepretations. You're not helping. Rush Limbaugh and Rachael Maddow are not sources you should accept without both fact-checking and context checking. If you won't do your homework, you're not going to be able to keep the freedoms you've got, and will be befuddled by your own paranoia until it's too late.
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