Thursday, August 2, 2018

Politics, like rust, never sleeps

East is West, left is right
Up is down, and black is white
Inside-out, wrong is right
It's back to front and I'm all uptight

~~ "Back To Front" by The Kinks

All is well on the homefront. Ken continues to do well with his treatment and is feeling good. So it's time for a political post! I might not be as obsessive consumed as I usually am but politics ain't beanbag and politics never sleeps. 

The constant news cycle is exhausting and I have to step away at points. This week has been particularly exhausting as the "president" ramps up his attacks on Mueller and his investigation. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that a certain orange toddler is a wee bit scared! And well he should be. 

While I continue to read my political newsfeed and keep up with what is happening, I have come to a conclusion on a related matter. I'm done debating with Yampeople. Finished. I just won't do it anymore. It's a futile effort. 

This was actually a hard conclusion to come to. I feel okay about saying that I pride myself on putting forward a cogent and often convincing argument when it comes to debating things. I can be passionate and persuasive and fiery when I need to be. But this attitude towards debates assumes that the person is operating from the same place as I am—one of objective truth and verifiable facts. It has become increasingly obvious that his supporters and I are not in that same place. Hell, I sometimes wonder if we're on the same planet. 

This decision came about because of a recent CBS poll that showed that the "president's" supporters trust him for their truths over friends and family and certainly over the media. By a huge margin. So that's that. If I state a verifiable statistic and they say, "I don't believe you," we are done. I don't make this shit up and I don't just pull stuff out of my ass. If you are coming from a place where you refuse to believe something that is a verifiable reality, why am I wasting my time with you? It's very similar to anti-vaxxers and I stopped arguing with them a long time ago. 

I have friends on the left who continue to debate in the hopes that they'll reach one of those truly independent people who question what is going on and is possibly questioning their support of this "president." This is reasonable and I applaud them for it. However, I can recognize those people and if they want to reach out to me and discuss things with me, I'm happy to. But I also recognize those who will continue to support this "president" no matter what. I see the stupid, easily-debunked memes my right-wing cousin shares and the latest is learning about this bonkers Q-Anon conspiracy bullshit. If you believe that crap, I am no longer going to waste my brain cells on you. My patience is at an end. 

I still enjoy reading about what might be motivating some of these people, whether it's books like Hillbilly Elegy or others in that vein. It's an interesting exercise and I learn things but I'm never going to be able to relate to someone who completely ignores facts and blindly accepts what someone is telling them. I just can't. There are all kinds of stories about trying to reach out to these voters and bring them back to the Democratic fold. Why? Why waste your time, resources, and energy? The "persuadables" are easily identified. Watch a couple of minutes of that rabid crowd at the rally in Tampa yelling "CNN sucks!" and the lovely flower flipping the double bird at the camera and tell me if anything you say can convince these people that they are getting duped. 

If you tried, you'd probably get back something like, "I don't care. I like him because he tells it like it is and he talks just like me." Well, if you're an ignorant racist yahoo, you're right. He does talk just like you. 

There are certainly non-stupid people who follow him and if they have rational arguments, I'll talk to them if they want. I still have hopes for those people. But I've decided that it really is pointless to seek out a debate. I've lost my objectivity and I'm sure my disdain and frustration would show through. (I have a terrible poker face.) But I'll keep doing my thing and posting my opinions and they can make up their own mind. 

So what to do if we don't reach out to them and try to understand them? That's easy. 

We beat 'em. 

Our friend Bob and his daughter Una have an album coming out this fall. Here is their video of the title track, "For Tomorrow." Put this in your ear and eyeholes and get fired up and ready to go. The protest song lives!