At the Extremes

I worry about both sides. They are both loud. Both obnoxious. Both disregard fact and truth for the benefit of their own ideologies. Both are a danger to the fabric of our society. Who to worry about more?

I guess that depends on where you find yourself on the spectrum or what issues impact you the most. It depends on what “team” you belong. It depends on what truths and facts you are most comfortable ignoring.

Some time ago (a time that almost feels like it exists only in an obscure text somewhere), we used to believe that the truth is somewhere in the middle. It meant that no matter how much one person or another may tout their own story, it was only true in part, and that the only way to get at the truth — the real truth — was to see the arguments of both sides. A few people today seem to espouse such behavior, but mostly we’ve devolved into a society more interested in shutting people up who disagree or hold a contrary viewpoint. We’ve become more interested in wanting our team to win because if the other team does, then our whole way of life will come toppling down.

And yet it doesn’t. Not at least in the grand fashion that everyone believes. No. It’s through a slow rot infesting the cultural zeitgeist. It’s a slow rot that shows its symptoms through the arguing, the silencing, the “my team must win at all costs” mentality that we’ve adopted. Symptoms that also include electing a narcissistic, parasitic-capitalist, lying demagogue to the highest executive office in the land and then sacrificing all your own virtues and morals because a few people become wildly excited by him (failing to realize that he simply used the same tactics as wealthy elites who saw too many poor people mixing with the slaves of the south and soon realizing that it would overturn a caustic economic sham). They failed to realize that they got played. Scammed. And like most people who get scammed, they refuse to believe that they were that stupid so they double down on it trying to convince — themselves more than anyone else — that it happened.

Conversely it is the other side who becomes so enraged that they ignore their own virtues and morals and choose to go with the same strategies that so encouraged the other team — as though almost like a sibling poking at the brother or sister delighting in the fact that the other child is so outraged only to then cry out for mom or dad when they get punched in retaliation.

And on and on the cycle goes, worsening as each side refuses to stand firm to actual moral virtues.

Meanwhile those in the middle can’t seem to figure out how to clear out this rot. After all, most people just want to live their lives and as long as the bulk of their livelihood isn’t threatened, they roll with it. How does the silent majority remain silent? Exactly that. It isn’t until one side or the other drags the whole of society to lose a limb from the rot that everyone suddenly wakes up and says “no”, only to see that it was too late.

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