I liked the meme above when I first saw it on Facebook so I decided to share it on my own page, thinking finally, something we can all agree on!
And like clockwork a few moments later comes this comment:
“Hum. So if we look back in history to Germany and the rise of the the 3rd Reich are you suggesting that Germans should treat those supporting the extermination of Jews with kindness? Or we can come into this country and a time when people believed they should be able to own other people. So if someone voted to keep slavery the response you would respect is how nice, want some tea? I can understand compassion and respect for different opinions until those opinions include the oppression and inequitable access to rights liberty and the pursuit to happiness.”
I don’t shock easily, but the acidity of the comment and speed at which it came stunned me, really drove home how far gone some folks are. And from a middle aged, normally very sweet school teacher no less! Thankfully there were several responses to this nonsense pointing out how today’s political platforms don’t equate in any way shape or form to slavery or the 3rd Reich.
It got me thinking more about the demonization of politics virus that’s ripping through our culture. It’s been around for awhile, but social media and a frenzied, biased press have caused this tactic to explode, where tribes harden and those that think differently aren’t merely wrong, but immoral and evil.
I thought things were bad enough when I wrote about this a few years ago in a post called The Calcified Mind. Little did I know what 2020 had in store! At least then there was some natural order to things, a base of knowledge we could all agree on, like that our country’s founding principles are good things, that law and order is important to free societies and that making judgements about people based on skin color is bad.
Today that’s all flipped on its head as truth is now how a person feels about things and so debate is pointless; facts and stats have nothing on emotions. My former ways of pleading with people to assume others who think differently mean well, but disagree on how to improve things now hits a brick wall of refusal and is naive in hindsight.
The hate out there today is really palpable, fed by fake news stories with cartoon character type villains and encouraged by dim bulb politicians who campaign on fear and exploitation because that’s all they have. As I wrote in my post:
“Some have hearts so hardened that those others can’t merely be human beings who want what’s best for society but have other ideas on how to get there, they must be morally deficient, evil, stupid, etc….”
Once you start dehumanizing people this way boy does it open a door to ugliness that I’m not sure can be shut and we’ve come a long way with it.
Honesty it’s this type of thing that keeps me up at night.