Saturday, January 22, 2022

In Which I Am Snarked At By The Credulous

      In response to my most recent posting, a commenter who very rarely gets past the filters chided me:

"'Always suspect a story that fits too well with the reporter or outlet's inclinations (and/or your own)' You should take your own advice."

      The thing is, I do -- and I make a particular effort to check things out and find (and share) links when it is something I have strong feelings about, pro or con.

      I spent nearly all of the Trump administration "doing homework" rather than joining any reflexive pro or anti bandwagon.  I had disliked the man for years; he has always struck me as a remarkable example of a bad boss in the "disruptive manager" style.  I'm not a big fan of "nativism" as historically expressed in the United States and Mr. Trump's updating of it was no improvement, in my judgement.  Once the "Grab them by the [female private parts]" audio came out and was confirmed, there was no way I was ever going to vote for him.  As a result, I made a great effort to fairly judge his actions as President on their own merits, and found myself coming to his defense from time to time in online discussions.

      ...I started to write a long history of how and why I arrived at my present conclusions, but you know what?  It doesn't matter how clear and careful a trail of breadcrumbs I leave, if you have bought into the alt-reality line of a rigged election, a faked pandemic and vaccines that aren't, I'm not going to change your mind.

      But here's reality:

      - The 2020 Federal elections were as fair and honest as any of 'em have been in my lifetime.  Mr. Trump lost and Mr. Biden won, mostly by virtue of not being Mr. Trump rather than his own merits.  Note that the election shrank the Democrat majority in the House and left the Senate at 50/50: that's not a recipe for gaining power over the Federal government and it's a sure sign the Dems didn't have a thumb on the scales.

      - Mr. Trump's "legal team" pushing the notion of a stolen election is a bunch of grifters and/or lunatics.  That narrative trails away into the "Qanon" craziness and bloody-handed authoritarians, and the only thing at the end of it is ruin and bankruptcy.

      - The coronavirus pandemic is real.  Over 860,000 Americans have died of it so far and that figure may break a million by the end of this year.  (I hope not, but it's almost inevitable.)

      - Coronavirus vaccines work and they are safe.  Over 75 percent of the population of the U.S. has received at least one shot.  That's nearly 250 million of your fellow citizens.  They're not dying of the shots. 

      That's the real world, one in which we can be reasonably confident the omicron surge will buy us at least a month or two (or more!) of low infection, hospitalization and death rates once it passes -- and death rates are already low, especially compared to infection rates, and should keep dropping thanks to a number of factors including widespread vaccination and better medical treatments for COVID-19 cases.

      You can go live in cloud-cuckoo land if you like, grooving on paranoid fantasies, inflammatory politics and a growing disconnect from the real world, but it doesn't lead anywhere good.  It's the political version of heroin addiction.

      The stupid, violent and deluded at the political extremes are working very hard to burn this country down.  We have one party mostly trying to pretend it's not happening anywhere on their side and one party buying matches in bulk.  I'm not impressed by either one and I am not going to cheer them on.  YMMV.

      Don't like it?  Go jump out of an Overton window.  "Communists or Fascists" is a false choice, an option of being bludgeoned to death with an oak club or hickory one.  It was a false choice in Germany in 1933 and it's a false choice now.  We have still got a functioning form of democracy* here in the United States, no matter how much of their own excrement Lefty and Righty rioters and talk-show hosts try to smear on it.
* "Democracy" is a general term, widely used, and we say "direct democracy" if we want to refer to the ancient Greek citizens-vote-on-everything model.  If you want to whine, "But this is a republic," in that politcal-party-name coded way, go breathe it into a paper bag until the urge passes.  "Democracy," a system of government based on the ongoing consent of the governed, in which we choose the nitwits running the gummint by voting instead of them being born to it or getting there atop a heap of severed heads; and we get to replace the nitwits frequently.  It's all fiddlin' details from there and you're either for it or agin' it.  It you're against it, I'm not your friend.

1 comment:

Elkins45 said...

“We have one party mostly trying to pretend it's not happening anywhere on their side and one party buying matches in bulk. ”

Wow, that is just about a perfect summation delivered in a just about perfectly constructed sentence. Chef’s kiss.