I’m despondent and morbidly fascinated by the election. I know there is a civic obligation to support the President-elect, but it’s like mushroom hunting in a monsoon. Too soon. After 16 months of following the campaign I’m seeing orange spots when I close my eyes. I’ll pledge to be optimistic, and will admit I’m wrong about Trump if he somehow manages to rein in his shittier instincts and cartoon behavior and lead the country responsibly. I’m reasonably skeptical and the stakes are high. Trump is truly beyond gamut, and in more ways than skin tone- there is a shade of attitude and motivation that can’t be anticipated or neutralized by any available combination of checks and balances.
More despondent still about the level of discourse in this country. There’s no real public engagement or discussion, just arch and anonymous shit slinging on social media or in situations already predisposed to tension. Compromise and open-mindedness? Pussified chickenshit. Media consumers engage in confirmation harvesting instead of actual research. Belief and faith are seen to be more virtuous that truth and objectivity. Here’s a personal check and balance- I figure if my reasoning is sound it can stand up to any amount of objective research and discussion. If I feel the need to isolate and shout down ‘opponents’, then I’ve put my belief system and emotional response apparatus at the helm and am no longer in control of my reason. Stakes are high in every election- I don’t want to look for stuff that confirms what I already want to believe, I want information that’s actually true. It’s not hard. If I read a piece that brings me to outrage, then chances are it intended to do this, it was designed elicit an emotional response rather than to enlighten. If all the work on that site is similar, that site just goes on the bullshit list, left or right.
Neither side is evil. It’s entertaining to believe they are, and doing so seems to ennoble your beliefs with a critical moral authority that counters the overall helplessness of the whole process. I’m 50, and have never met anyone that’s evil, or doesn’t have good intentions. Why do we always fly apart at the seams when it comes time to select our leaders? This isn’t a healthy selection process, and will never result in a healthy and transparent government.