Unpopular Opinion: Divisive Politics Are Making Us Stupid And Silencing Discussions Society Needs To Have
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Whether it’s fraudulent Gofundme schemes, fake sex trafficking hysteria, or ridiculous and unfounded politically-fueled outrage, there is nothing that grinds my gears more than the amount of bullshit misinformation that propagates on social media. Since the 2008 election, played out in the burgeoning arena of social media as Facebook was in the midst of it’s conquest of the internet, the majority of our
political conversations have been under Zuckerburg’s roof. And although this promising national link had the potential to be a valuable tool to facilitate meaningful discussion at the speed of light – to give us better representation as a nation of people overall, it’s turned into a truly terrible reality. And I’m not even talking about censorship and Facebook’s obvious slant – because as of late even that has more oppressive and harder to discern.
I’m talking about this shit right here:
You see, these two images from completely opposite positions actually have a lot in common. They’re both inflammatory. They’re both politically biased. They’ve both circulated around social media like the herpes strain at the King’s Inn. And they’re both total bullshit.
A quick fact check shows that while based in some (very) loose actual fact, Hillary Clinton never even “freed” that child rapist – he took a plea. She didn’t even want to take the case, and the guy wasn’t the most collusive client. And another check proves the Trump image just complete and utter bullshit, the quote isn’t even accurate. Yet people circulate this shit like it’s verifiable news. Pretty much any stupid opinion or just plain made up lie can be passed around as fact, if the picture is shiny enough to sell to people who want to bolster their own stupid opinion in arguments with other stupid people on the comments section of some stupid 500 word article full of bullshit rife with their own bias. Few people bother to fact check beyond, “Does this align with my own deeply held beliefs”? So they end up passing around either total made up bullshit:
Or propaganda rooted in fact, but with a completely inaccurate and unverified salacious twist!
Thanks to the pervasively consumerist society we live in, anything can become fact without the correct production value. Our elections have been reduced to horse races – it’s always the personality and rhetoric front and center, while we all but ignore the substance behind it. More often do our conversations about politics revolve around the people in office, than the policies and agenda they work to implement while in office. Facts are routinely thrown aside for whatever taps into our emotions the most. We as a society have become so dumbed down that we can’t even collectively identify what to get angry about anymore. Anyone, anywhere, at any time, can log on, vent our own personal victimization, aggravation, or concern, and if we make it look legitimate enough, sell it over to an audience.
Even the media’s smell test seems to consist more and more of, “Does it look legit?” than actually checking to see if it is legit. We expose this all the time. And I personally will never forget the time The New York Times printed a satirical TigerBeat Cover featuring then-President Obama on the cover as fact, because they couldn’t even be bothered to check the content of it’s source.
We coin terms like “hate speech” and “microagression” to stifle any meaningful dialogue. We inflate and myopically focus on injustices and marginalization that are fed to us without a second thought. We are told that racism and sexism are rampant, however, realistically, they are at an all time low – when was the last time you saw a black man forced to ride the back of the bus, or a woman relegated to the kitchen and bedroom? The perception that discrimination is pervasive can lead to demands for remedies worse than the disease they are supposed to cure. We are encouraged to pick a side, and dig our heels in. And as the Left rallies against perceived injustice, they provoke the right by practicing identitypolitics and favoring “protected groups”.White lives matter” is becoming a popular banner. “All lives matter” has become a faux pas, or worse, hate speech. All this silences us from real, meaningful discussions our society needs to have. Like, that regardless of race, sex or creed, 99% of us are living in the shadow of the wealthiest 1%. All the pink vagina hats or Red MAGA hats in the world won’t address that, let alone change it.
I wouldn’t even presume to have the answers here, none of us do. Because we are discouraged and distracted from even asking the questions.
And since we discredit any information without the proper amount of production value behind it, common sense gets lost in the middle. The interests of the people are glossed over by the financiers of the information in the information age. I seethed with anger when I read the comments on Reddit regarding one of my blogs. “The journalism is good here,” some people would concede, only to lament or second guess the overall credibility because the site runs ads. Some simply discredited it outright, not based on content, but appearance. That is infuriating, but also scary. Is this how we vet our information now?
The accountability doesn’t start with the media, or the government, or even our schools. It starts with us, the people, because all these institutions are comprised of just that – people. In order to bridge the divide, we have to cool our emotions are start rely more on our common sense and intellect. We need to fact check, and look at all the information available. We need logic and reason and ideas, regardless of the aesthetic quality with which they are presented. We need to focus less on the issues that affect the few, and start looking at the issues that affect the many.
And now that you’ve put up with my 995-word rant, let me leave you with this video of a crying liberal meltdown fest because I don’t care who you are, this shit is funny. And this is what the abandonment of rationale has created.