I know when I post something political I’m not going to change your mind. I know it and I still can’t help myself from posting about the current occupant of the White House.
If, after four years of watching a malignant narcissist sow chaos around the world; attempt to bully and degrade anyone who does not agree with him; flatly refuse to accept scientific fact because it does not jibe with his own self-centered worldview; actively work to degrade the government by denuding it of expertise and experience; glorify his own ignorance while denigrating those who worked hard to gain knowledge; showcase a profound lack of empathy for anyone other than him; those who serve something greater than themselves; encourage violence by his supporters; force an entire government to do everything in its power to fellate his fragile ego; enrich himself, his family and his cronies at the expense of the country; scream and rant like a three-year old denied a sweetie, you can’t see for yourself that the man was, is now and ever will be unfit for any kind of public office. . . I know knowing I say is going to change your mind.
And, yet. . .
And, yet, I still post about political issues. Why do it when I know it’s only going to be seen and understood by those who already see and understand?
Mostly, it’s because I can’t afford to hire a good handyman and my own drywall-patching skills aren’t where I’d like them to be. Despite the frequent practice I’ve had during the last four years trying to learn how to smooth out head-size dents in my walls, I still have head-sized dents in my walls.
Those dents just keep showing up. And I have no idea where they’re coming from. All right. I know exactly where they’re coming from. Sometimes, I just can’t take the triumphalist denial and willful ignorance I see in the world any longer. When that happens, the only thing I can do is smash my head against a wall for a little peace and quiet.
That’s the thing, see? I attempt to live by and with logic. I think the power of well-chosen words can change minds, can open minds. It’s happened to me. I’ve been absolutely convinced of something, only for someone to point out an error in my thought process, or a flaw in my reasoning using facts and logic, and I’ve changed my mind. I’ve seen it happen in others, sometimes even in response to my own words, well-chosen or not.
That doesn’t seem to happen much these days. Not since the rise of right-wing identity politics. Another word for it is tribalism. It’s all about teams and, if I’m not on your team, there’s no point in listening because I’m, by definition, wrong. After all, if I were right, I’d be on your team. Circular illogic that guarantees you don’t have to give any consideration to differing opinions or other ideas.
In identity politics, it’s no longer about free-flowing ideas or working together to overcome differences, it’s only, “Fuck yeah! My team!”
Well-reasoned arguments, drawn with logic from a series of accepted facts no longer work because facts are now “facts” and can be labeled fake if you don’t like them. Reality is malleable, if only you can put your fingers in your ears and scream “Nah nah nah nahnahnahnahnah” loud enough.
And when I’ve had enough. . . When the stupid in the world burns so hot I just can’t stand it any longer. . . I’m going to post something about it. I’m going to bang my head against the metaphorical wall instead of the literal wall. Because I have to get it out somehow.
I have been told in no uncertain terms by the Lovely Lady of my Life that subjecting her to numerous rants at high volume and an even higher word count will not continue. So Immna get it outta my system here.
I think of it like lancing a boil. I’ve got to get the puss out or the pressure will keep building and the pain keep increasing. I’ll lance it a little onto the keyboard, relieve the pressure and move on with my life.
I am almost certain the inexorable, undeniable logic with which I write will not change your mind. Nor the pretty, flowery words. Nor the bad jokes. What makes me so certain my words will fall on blocked ears? If the past four years of chaos and division and death haven’t changed your mind, what hope for a few words? The mental impermeability to change and logic shown these past four years makes a rather persuasive argument against future change.
There have been some who have shown up in the comments of my previous political posts who disagree with me. I used to get into it with them, to argue with facts, to point out sources and concurring opinion. I don’t do that any more because it does not work. Logic is derided. Facts are ignored. And I start thinking, “That wall over there looks like it could benefit from a nice head-shaped depression in it.”
It’s not that I don’t think I could be wrong. Or that every opinion other than mine is de facto incorrect. It’s just, when I post something political, it’s from a reputable source, which has an institutional imperative for getting it right. I might enjoy watching shouty, angry people making fun of those with whom I disagree on occasion, only I don’t get my facts from them.
I’ve been wrong about a lot of things in the past and will be wrong about a lot more in the future. To convince me, you’re going to have to be more than contrarian, more than loud. Just saying, “You’re an idiot” or screaming the “Lamestream Media” is lying won’t do it. Explain with facts from reputable sources, not just some guy on YouTube, why I’m wrong and I’ll listen. You might even change my mind.
So the next time you read one of my posts with a political bent and want to yell, “Fuck yeah! My team!” at me, save it. I don’t respond to ad hominem wailing. You wanna debate actual facts? I’m down for that. Though you better be sure you’ve got facts and not “facts.”
Well, that’s one more drywall patch job avoided.