America, it's time to start talking
By Peter Miesler
It seems to me the single most important lesson of this election is that “The Lie” has become acceptable mainstream political currency. Though the Left is guilty of this, Trump and his Alt-Right champions and Republican tea-partiers have taken it to an entirely new level.
Sure, politicians have always added their creative spin to the truth, but this is something different. Namely, a complete rejection of ethics and honestly appraising the evidence at hand.
It manifested itself in Trump and the Alt-Right’s disregard for, and their hideous incivility and hostility towards, bona fide experts across the entire spectrum of our society.
Well, that is, if those experts happen to bring unwelcome news about the reality of the physical world we depend on. On the other hand, any two-bit dilettante gets treated as a singularly authoritative “expert” if they spin a pleasing yarn. That is, plastering over serious down-to-earth facts with cynically crafted bull-poop whose sole intent is to hide from a true assessment.
Why would any forward-thinking adult embrace such childish misdirection and such mediocre fairy tales? By what twisted logic do we rationalize ignoring evidence-based constructive learning and the increasing understanding that has come through generations of work by dedicated, capable individuals the world over?
What happened to humanity’s Intellectual Enlightenment? It suddenly seems farther away than ever and getting dimmer fast.
Why are Republicans so hostile towards maintaining a healthy environment? Surely they realize we depend on a healthy Earth along with its myriad of natural subsystems all humming together to produce this fantastical whole that we were born into (but that our corporations are destroying at breakneck speed).
And now we have Trump the Russian Obligate President, a man whose winning campaign was based on contempt for others and a card house of lies cemented with anger and fear-mongering.
How did the American people allow this con job to go down? It’s simple – divide and conquer! Fabricate and lather up tensions between America’s various social classes. We were all, left and right, made to be scared as hell of the other. Finding hostility and fault in everyone else, but never turning the mirror on ourselves.
Too few have the curiosity or courage to recognize that none of our problems are new, except that we have saturated the landscape with hungry, greedy masses of consumers who give nothing back. In today’s public discourse we deny mistakes rather than learn from them. Everyone finds fault in others while ignoring their own. Does God forbid accepting responsibility for the messes we’ve been creating for ourselves?
When traveling, I’m consistently shocked at how many people take our functioning cities and travel networks for granted. Never thinking about what it takes to keep the grocery and department- store shelves stocked. Not the slightest appreciation of, nor interest in, the complexities and wonders that make their world function.
It’s even worse with our political system. Way too many citizens take it for granted, assuming the stability we’ve always known will always be there. They are satisfied letting others do the tedious chores that make a democracy function.
Guess “We the People” learned a big lesson there. No one has our backs, not our political leaders, not our favorite pundits, nor the once-proud news media, nor that favorite group we give money to, nor anyone else.
No worries, America, our newly empowered oligarchs are more than happy taking care of business while we continue our slumber. America, where are you?
The internet is full of bubbles, but out here in the fields and on the streets of America, we deal with each other on a day-to-day basis and until recently, for the most part, we were doing okay with it. I’m friends with some frightfully farright people. Yet we share the same work and living ethics, we cooperate and trust each other. Friendships and blood cross surprising bounds in the real world.
The oligarch’s media machine doesn’t want us realizing that basic truth. They thrive on a public that is too busy distrusting and hating each other to focus on the real enemies of the American Way: greed, willful ignorance, apathy and lack of ethics.
Now, as never before, is the time when not thousands but millions of previous political sideliners owe it to their country to become engaged, get informed, start the dialogue across those left and right fences of our own backyards with family, co-workers and friends. A real national grassroots effort to start a genuine national dialogue with renewed involvement and fresh in-touch leaders working to make our admittedly flawed political system function more sanely. Democracy – live it or lose it. America, it’s your move.
Peter Miesler writes from near Durango, Colo., and hosts the blog no-villageatwolfcreek.blogspot.com/.