How do you defeat America? Hint: It’s not militarily.
The grand divisiveness we are seeing across the globe is driven largely by the constant drumbeat of hyperbolic political rhetoric, sensational headlines and clickbait – designed to continually feed a ginned up base more confirmation of its increasing bias. We are becoming more and more close minded as a nation, doing less critical thinking and instead lapping up with glee the junk food fed to us by talking heads on TV. We live in an era where simultaneously everything and nothing is okay. Heck, okay isn’t even okay.
If you believe you should be able to go through life without ever being “offended” or “triggered,” you’re living in a fantasy land – believe me, I’m offended by many groups and people, yet I will defend to my last breath their right to say what they say, and within the confines of the law. I may not like it, I can speak against it, but they have every right to say it.
Read the headlines. Look at the news bulletins. See how social media feeds are headlined to encourage click throughs. All of this relates to income, it’s how the media make money – they are feeding and fueling narrative based outrage. More outrage, more clicks, more revenue. This, combined with the fact that more and more Americans seem to be unable to discern opinion from fact, lack basic civics and history knowledge, and are increasingly triggered and sensitive, we have created the “cancel culture” movement.
There is an old saying that “everything you’ll ever need to know, you learn in kindergarten.” Things like waiting your turn in line or for our discussion, sticks and stones. We increasingly live in a society and an overly scrutinized environment fearing words, and while the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, I promise, those words will never hurt you. This has been one of the most hypocritical and contentious issues, particularly in social media platforms where, if you happen to not be on the same side as the cancel culture mob on any given issue (perhaps they will one day release a play book of what is and what is not acceptable, as it continues to morph like a virus), they will pummel you with some of the most vile and disgusting comments imaginable. So, if you’re not on what the mob considers the “correct” side, you will be excoriated into submission.
This is not only disgusting, it’s dangerous. As with Orwell’s 1984 and similarly the Nazi party, there is a lack of understanding of what free speech actually means. It is, quite implicitly, the belief that you should stand up for the free speech rights even if what they are saying disgust you to the core. You can’t pick and choose which groups or people because then you have exactly what Orwell warned of – the thought police. The KKK may say some of the most vile things, but you must stand up for their right to do so. Because, what you may find to be important speech, say from Planned Parenthood, others may find what they say utterly offensive – and that is true of just about any group you can think of, from the NRA to BLM. Do you like Rush Limbaugh? Likely half say yes, half say no, but that doesn’t mean you should cancel his show – it’s very simple, if you don’t like it, don’t listen.
In a capitalist economy, entertainers (of which the news media is) have the right to fail. If no one is listening, the show won’t go on. But in a socialistic and totalitarian regime, entertainers, shows, anything deemed “unacceptable” by the thought police will be shut down and gives rise to not only a single voice and thought. This is bad from our society and bad for business.
Because, the cancel culture doesn’t leave itself at entertainment, and you can see all too often how the mob attacks businesses and brands. Goya is the most recent example, protested simply because the CEO spoke to the President. The examples are endless. And sadly, this sort of behavior seems to constantly come from one side of the political spectrum who seem to be more and more intolerant, and sadly, violently so. Businesses seem to have to walk on eggshells when planning any type of programming, constantly striving to be seen as buzzwords “diverse” or “inclusive” while not making any actual statement as to what that even means. Businesses and brands have crisis communicators on speed dial, worried if they offended the Twitter Mob because they support something the ever elusive rule du jour said about any given entity. This slows business, creates unnecessary costs and ultimately does little or nothing to affect any actual change other than mindless virtue signaling to appease a never appeasable mob – because there is never enough.
Remember the adage. They went after x but I said nothing because it didn’t affect me. They went after y but I said nothing because it didn’t affect me. They went after z but I said nothing because it didn’t affect me. They went after me but there was no one left to defend me.
Changing the name of an NFL team will not make racism disappear. Painting murals will not make racism disappear. Boycotting beans, toppling statues, cancelling radio and TV shows, erasing history, ruining careers will not make whatever cause the mob is mercenary for on any given day go away. Here’s the real truth: racism will always exist. It’s also not one sided. We can work to make things better, but you can’t legislate how someone thinks – you can educate, but not indoctrinate. Sadly, indoctrination is much of what we’re seeing and what has caused this current culture. There has always been racism, there always will be. Hopefully, as we continue to grow as a global species, we’ll continue to understand and the entire concept of race will wither and die.
But with so much money in race peddling and race baiting, there’s no incentive – it is their fuel. It’s their income source. So, maybe it’s time to cancel that. We are more together as a country than the media would lead you to believe, but we have to be open minded and we have to be willing to fight for something we personally may find offensive. It is free speech – you are allowed to think and believe and say whatever ignorant thing you wish. It’s America. When you are no longer allowed to say something, our light has extinguished.
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