As I have been contemplating the aftermath of the election, I have been reading a lot from both sides trying to hear what they have to say about the election and what I find remarkable is the dialogue from within the parties as to;
- why they won, why they lost,
- why they have a mandate, why they don’t have a mandate,
- how the American people clearly spoke for tax increases, how they people clearly spoke against the tax increases,
- the majority voted for Obamacare, the majority voted against Obamacare
As I have listened to the various talking heads and pundits, increasingly I have become more convinced than ever that we simply can’t discern desired fiction from pragmatic reality. As a nation, we seem to see things in polar opposite. As I listened and read, a poem from my youth came to mind that I have reconstructed at the end of the article.
Both sides appear to believe they are right, yet both sides are either misreading the nation, in denial or purposefully paltering. While American’s on one side are convinced they are right and factually correct, the membership of the other side are convinced they are equally as right and also factually correct. While in rare instances this may be possible, it defies logic to think that this is now constantly the normative.
Is it possible, that we no longer can think for ourselves? Have we become so inculcated by our modern constant information driven society that we have inadvertently provided a method of incessant propaganda that in essence is nothing more than a form of brainwashing? Have we so changed our education system and our initial form of government that we simply cannot discern the differences? Some on the right (a minority of the voting population) are so ingrained in their own core beliefs they cannot contemplate that a change in the nature of Americans dictates a change in their own approach or philosophy. An equal number of those on the left (also a minority of the voting population) believe that the majority of Americans want more government and more handouts and it is now clear to them that this is who we are as a nation. And frankly a majority of the population just want it to stop.
Since the demography of the electorate is now about 25% left leaning democrat, 25% right leaning republican, and 50% centrist, we now have a political environment more driven by propaganda than on cognitive thinking. Of course none of us believe we are non-cognitive. We listen to or preferred media sources, all the things they say fit with our own beliefs so what they say must be correct. And if by chance we listen to our non-preferred media sources, all the things they say appear heretical to us so they simply must be lying and of evil intent. Of course we are thinking. If we are listening to what they say, and it fits our reality, then we are clearly thinking. We are participating in the political process, we are using our best judgment and we are making informed decisions! Of course we are! And we know this, because in the end we are either supported and vindicated in our victory by being members of the winning side, or we are supported and vindicated because as a member of the losing side, we become united in our understanding that it was only by the complete equivocation, misrepresentation, and deceit of the other side that they achieved victory. It is in the safety of the group (Party), that we are able to come to this clear understanding and justification? There is simply no other way that any of us could have been so manipulated and propagandized to have simply given up critical thought. There is just no way that we could be wrong! Is there?
Since both sides mostly cannot be right and correct about every issue and as such are in sometimes violent disagreement I simply can’t yet explain the phenomena, without attributing some nefarious intentions. So in such cases my reaction is to find a metaphor. Oddly, I find the following poem substitutes well for explanation. I hope you enjoy the irony.
One very light night
two dead boys got up to fight.
Back to back they faced each other
drew their swords and shot another.
A deaf policeman heard the noise
and came and killed the two dead boys.
If you don’t believe my story’s true,
ask the blind lady
at the corner of the round table
she saw too.
My lesson from this election? Become a Mugwump!
Author’s note: For those interested in such things, I have composed this article on the new Microsoft Surface Tablet with Windows 8 RT. I am finding this a marvelous device, superior in many ways to my prior iPad. Don’t believe the various very negative and inaccurate articles written by reviewers with agendas. Do your own research, go try one at the store and ask some that have bought one. Like in the political world, many who are currently writing reviews in technology either have a bias, or have been compromised.