Are You Living In Chains?
January 1st, 2021 | RR
People on both ends of the political spectrum live in bubbles. There are people on both sides that have inoculated their brains from catching new ideas and concepts. The minute something is framed—even erroneously—as a left or right idea, it is rejected without a second thought. People's brains have become so hard-wired that it's difficult for new information to get inside. Poletical was originally started as a way for both sides to come together and engage in polemics, but that quickly changed when the few liberal contributors jumped ship—all because the right-wing opinions were too unbearable for them to handle. Now, Poletical is a right-wing journal and has probably only contributed to our polarization. But, if you think people on the left are more insufferable and closed-minded than you are, you're wrong. I'll explain why.
A long-time fellow contributor recently told me that there are almost no smart people left on social media. I tend to agree with him. Both Twitter and Facebook have become garbage dumps for recycled arguments, concepts and talking points. Few who contribute with a comment are really capable of opening their minds to ideas that might challenge their way of thinking. This is the case on both sides, which is why all forms of social media have become platforms of ideological mudslinging and slander. With that said, Poletical still has many respectable followers on social media and this is not a dig at all of them. They probably know who they are, because they often do—in fact—offer meaningful feedback and criticism. However, the stark differences are clear between those who stay off social media and those who don't.
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Case in point, I had some very interesting responses to a piece I wrote last month that compared the Alberta election of 2019 to the presidential election of 2020.
The responses I received from the contact form and by email were starkly different compared to the responses I received on social media. One person, who responded by email, does not have social media at all, which I think could be the reason for his starkly contrasting feedback.
The email respondent politely criticized me for bringing up the comparison between Notley's defeat and Trump's defeat, but also pointed out that he had never thought about it before and that it was an interesting analysis. He had some issues with my piece that he politely and respectfully expressed, but he was mostly happy to have read it. On Facebook, the comments were almost unanimously negative and contained little positive feedback or specifics about what exactly was the cause of the disagreement.
“All right, I have pretty much had enough of your page,” one person commented. I assume she kept her word and unfollowed. Others accused me of smoking drugs or failing to accept that Trump lost due to voter fraud. At least they gave me some hints about what really irked them, but they were things I already knew and expected would irk them. The whole premise of the article, after all, was to show that Trump's loss wasn't so impossible.
One commenter, whom I respect, said I was wrong because I failed to acknowledge the effects of fake news and media. I disagree, because I did mention the role of media in intensifying the hysteria, specifically in relation to the pandemic. In an earlier piece called “We Can't Be Shocked By Trump's Defeat”, I put some of the blame on Trump for failing to make friends and for refusing to turn the tides throughout his four years in office. For the most part, Trump fed the fake news and antagonized journalists. This is similar to how Stephen Harper slowly picked away at the CBC's budget while conservatives called for defunding. Regardless of how we all feel, it's not a wise political strategy to make too many enemies in media, or to expect them to treat you fairly while you also call to destroy them.
We can blame fake news, but Trump had more than a few years to change the narrative and to turn the tables. Trump lost because he failed from both perspectives. If the election was rigged, Trump failed. If the election was legitimate, Trump failed. How? By letting the media and “deep state” beat him. He was president for four years and he had a Republican senate. Why did he not spend four years rooting out the corruption, or spend less time feeding the fake news with soundbites and rage tweets?
Remember that swamp? Had Trump successfully drained it, they wouldn't have been able to “steal” the election.
By the time you read this, Biden's inauguration will be approaching, or he will already be president. I wish I could report different news, but I can't. I wanted Trump to win, but I'm not going to deny reality. That's never been how I roll. The detractors on social media would say otherwise, because they are never wrong. According to them, the election was stolen because Trump says it was and because all Democrats fuck goats and eat children. No matter how much new information or analysis I show them, they will never believe anything else.
That's my point.
Now, let's get to the part about living your life in chains. This happens when people close off their minds, retreat into bubbles and lose the ability to receive and analyze pertinent information. When asked to compare elements from two opposing forces, their brains misfire. They can't do it. They immediately reject the entire premise of an argument when the left-right paradigm is breached. This makes it easier for the real leaders, on each side, to control their armies. Basically, they all become compliant soldiers with an immunity to certain facts and truths.
Anything new that challenges the right-wing mindset is “fake news”, even if it contains relevant and truthful facts. Anything new that challenges the left-wing mindset is “fascist Nazi propaganda”, even if it contains real data and information. Everyone has become less capable of accepting information that challenges their political predispositions. As a result, we are becoming enemies and making ourselves easier to control.
The mere fact that Trump can say the election was stolen and that millions of Americans will automatically believe him is astonishing. On the other side, the fact that mainstream news can ridicule and compel millions of Americans into automatically rejecting the idea of election fraud is scary.
What ever happened to chewing gum and walking at the same time? Can anyone do that anymore?
We are now at a point where we can't trust experts, authorities or media to tell us the truth. Everyone has become so hard-wired and dysfunctional that truth is becoming an inconvenience. We are left with two choices: accept that the election was stolen, or laugh at any and all suggestions of fraud. We're all forced to pick a side and to reject anything that falls in the middle.
There may have been cases of fraud in Georgia and Pennsylvania, but all of it might go unaddressed and none of it might ever be prosecuted—all because it would mean having to acknowledge that the other side wasn't totally full of shit. Likewise, ever admitting that there was no widespread conspiracy to rig the election would mean letting the other team score a win. This is where we are now. Judges, lawyers, experts, doctors, teachers and everyone else are now obligated to throw away opposing ideas when they don't serve a greater agenda.
"The minute something is framed—even erroneously—as a left or right idea, it is rejected without a second thought."
All of this plays out on social media, where a majority are simpletons who do nothing but regurgitate talking points and ideas that reinforce their own ideological zealotry.
Both sides want you to forget the facts that matter. Forget the 50 years worth of studies that show masks do not mitigate the spread of viruses in closed settings. Forget the significant discrepancies in Georgia and Pennsylvania. Forget that Trump is raking in millions of dollars for a legal fund that is mostly being spent on paying down his campaign debts. Forget about Tara Reade. Forget about hundreds of years worth of biological science and genetics that determine a person's sex. Forget about Trump's actual business ties to Russian oligarchs and criminals. Forget about Hunter Biden's laptop. Forget about how Trump ran his casinos into the ground and ripped off contractors. Forget about the Biden family's business dealings in China and Ukraine. Either forget about Trump University, or forget about the Clinton Foundation. You can't have it both ways.
Pick a side, you peons.
If a member of our team is a lying, corrupt sack of shit—you must protect them. Anything else is immoral, treasonous and unacceptable. Fail to comply and you will be cast out and ostracized. The other team won't be able to help you, hire you, or compliment you out of fear of showing weakness. Once you're out, you might as well kill yourself or stay quiet. You won't matter anymore. An enemy is an enemy—and the enemy is always wrong. There will be no redemption for anyone.
Does that sound like a world you want to leave to your children?
Some of us at Poletical have taken these stances. Not because we wanted to, but because we are at war. Each time the left fires a shot, we try to feed them their own medicine. It's not wrong, but it's not conducive to building a healthy and sustainable society. It's not a successful long-term strategy, but it offers some short-term satisfaction while exposing our enemies. The truth is, if one side doesn't manage to win the long game and use their power to restructure the world for the better, real facts will be the only things that can unite us.
I, personally, don't trust our own team to win—or to use their power for good if they did.
When I see some of our followers comment on our social media pages, I sometimes hang my head in shame. The ideological zealotry is sometimes unbearable. Myself and other contributors often try to present new ideas and analyses, only to see them laughed off, ignored or outright trashed in the name of ideology and stubbornness.
When I compared Notley's loss to Trump's loss, I was taking a left-wing electoral defeat and comparing it to a right-wing electoral defeat. To some of our followers, this caused a malfunction. They were unable to even entertain the analysis, or the legitimate similarities. To them, I was just an idiot for even suggesting that democracy can have similar outcomes for dissimilar teams, and I was delusional for suggesting that Trump could have lost legitimately.
Only Rachel Notley could have lost legitimately in a landslide. Anything else is inconceivable!
Of course, if you live in an impenetrable bubble, it could be inconceivable to think that enough Americans hated Donald Trump that they wanted to ensure he was kicked out of the White House, even if it meant voting for a senile dimwit to replace him. When you spend so much time spouting off into an echo chamber and having your political beliefs reaffirmed by anonymous entities on the internet, anything can seem possible or impossible—even when reality says otherwise.
This all hearkens back to the 2019 federal election and the people who said Maxime Bernier would win big and possibly be the next prime minister. His party lost badly and he lost his seat. The possibility of him becoming prime minister was never there, but hordes of bubble-dwellers didn't see any other outcomes. Many of those same people had it fixed in their minds that it was impossible for Donald Trump to lose. Those same people still spout off on social media about how the 2019 election must have been rigged—because there is no way Justin Trudeau could have won.
For many dimwitted bubble-dwellers, the last four years have been consumed with promises of a coming storm. The followers of Q spent the last few years absolutely convinced that Trump has been playing 4D chess and that—any day now—the Clintons and a bunch of top-level pedophiles and crooks would be indicted and thrown in prison. That still hasn't happened. There was no fucking “storm” and there never will be.
Trump isn't some mad genius playing 4D chess while everyone else plays checkers. He's not an idiot either, but he ain't no Rasputin. Like I said, what the hell was this stable genius doing for four years while all the evildoers were plotting to steal the election?
Come on, man!
Maybe it's time to start accepting facts and opening our minds to new ideas. Read a left-wing blog, take the relevant information from other news sources that go against your beliefs. You don't have to believe everything you read, all you have to do is dig for useful information and some relevant facts. Turn to Fox News for the information CNN leaves out. Give Salon a chance, if not just for shits and giggles. Help yourself get an idea of what the other side is thinking. Along the way, you'll be exposed to facts and information you might not have found anywhere else.
Unchain yourselves. Don't lose all your senses and capabilities to some political ideology that probably benefits your overlords more than it benefits you.
© 2021 Poletical