In the last few weeks, the conversations I’ve had with people regarding politics, in general, have been difficult and divisive. The undercurrent of anger, frustration and an overall feeling of helplessness is causing the country to ebb and flow into dangerous territory. The pull towards the negative is so strong right now that we’re not getting back to anything close to common ground. When SNL, three weeks in a row on Weekend Update starts off with “I know we said last week was crazy, but boy, was this week crazier.”
Looking back into history, when tensions have escalated to uncommon levels, there is usually a breaking point that snaps everyone in the country back into reality. The depressing fact about this cycle is that is has happened again and again throughout this country 240-year history several times. What’s different about this time than any time previously in our history is that we have unprecedented access to information, practically in real-time, with very little in the way of knowing if it’s real, fake or otherwise.
There is a majority of the country right now that is suffering from a systemic infection of too long; didn’t read, or as it’s more commonly known, TL;DR. Social media has made it too easy for exponentially spreading laziness to take hold and our intake of facts consists of reading a headline and then reading less than 10 comments before determining if it’s positive, negative, real, fake or some other information. Talking with others on a regular basis, it has become disturbingly easier to know within a few minutes if someone has actually taken the time to educate themselves or has inferred from headlines just by listening to their comments and opinions.
I read a lot, multiple sites on both sides of a story usually, and yet I still don’t get it right all of the time. The massive amount of information available makes it impossible to get it right all of the time without dedicating a full-time job’s worth of time into understanding. I know very few people who have that kind of time, and the few that I’ve met, are always light years ahead of me in seeing the bigger picture. They’re a wealth of knowledge and understanding that again, as with articles that are TL;DR, others see these individuals as TL;DR, or more appropriately, TL;DL; too long;didn’t listen.
Just in the last few weeks, I’ve found it difficult to read all the sites that I need to in order to satisfy my own need for understanding. Not having that motivation to read, it naturally has an impact on activities that depend on that reading to understand; namely writing. The American people are burning out, what would have been a major crisis only a few years ago is now just a passing story on Fox News or CNN.
The desensitization is well underway with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The Russian collusion scandal. Trump sharing code word intelligence. The disaster that is AHCA. Four months of practically nothing in terms of positive government legislation. Supporters of Trump that seemingly would follow this man into an erupting volcano if he said it was safe. We need a smack upside the head to get us back into reality because what we have now is just laughable.