There have been a number of issues in the news today that read like a “how-to” guide for deluding yourself about reality. By that I mean that many people are reading and becoming outraged by news stories on just about everything. The most common refrain I’m seeing on FB (my statistically inaccurate anecdotal survey tool) and hearing in conversations with colleagues is “I knew it! I knew s/he was corrupt/crooked/treasonous/lying/ evil/hypocritical/wrong/stupid/moronic/racist/sexist/homophobic!” or “Of course they hate him/her. S/he’s telling the truth/speaking truth to power/taking down the elites/ standing up to bullies/ supporting LGBTQ community.” Confirmation bias is seeing what you want to see.
These reactions come from all sides of the political sphere. Lefty/progressive friends hold up Greta Thunberg as a modern day Cassandra on climate change and Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi as bravely standing up against Trump the Thug. Right/conservative friends tend to understate some problems and overstate others. Although, truth be told, from where I sit, those on the right (aside from the Never Trumpers who seem to think that if they disavow Trump enough the Left will somehow come after them last) are far less likely to be sticking their fingers in their ears and screaming.
Let’s take the two main issues in the news today (tomorrow it will likely be two different issues given the rapidity with which the news cycle can spin). First off, Greta Thunberg and climate change. This child has stated that she is on the autism spectrum and suffers from depression. Her parents have money and clout. So, when she stated that the idea of climate change depressed her they encouraged that (I’m not making this up, you can read interviews with her. I’m not linking them because if you truly care about this issue you care enough to do thorough research…even if that research leads you to conclusions you don’t like or didn’t expect). So, Greta’s parents pulled her out of school and sent her on a world tour of developed countries (European and the US) to yell at them about how it’s all the adult’s fault for climate change. She’s 16, people. She’s not a meteorologist or a climatologist or a geologist or anything but a depressive, on the spectrum 16-year old girl. Who travels first class, sailed on a multi-million dollar yacht across the Atlantic and generally has her speeches and life scripted by her parents and other so-called “responsible” adults around her. Her parents in particular are making millions off of the exploitation of their daughter. This is not an “out of the mouths of babes…” moment. This is a 16-year old girl being manipulated instead of helped. Stop enabling her abusers.
The other issue dominating the news cycle (the media is spinning in place trying to keep up with what they should be screaming about today) is the impeachment inquiry begun by Pelosi et al. That one is fun too. Pelosi failed to follow House rules and put the initiation of the impeachment inquiry to a vote (probably because she knew it would fail), and changed the House rules in August to prevent Republicans from participating in any discussions regarding the inquiry. Adam Schiff received the whistleblower complaint in August, but only just now acted on it. The CIA changed the requirements for filing a whistleblower complaint from requiring first-hand knowledge, to admitting hearsay….in August. I’ll take manipulation of the system for partisan gain for $1,000, Alex. Abso-fucking-lutely ridiculous. Trump is rude, crude, and socially unacceptable, but Pelosi, Schiff, and the media are actually trying to undermine our political system and they’re doing it out of spite.
And, for anyone who thinks impeachment will ruin Trump’s presidency, I refer to you Bill Clinton’s impeachment. It didn’t ruin him. All’s it did was rile up the electorate and stop all responsible government functioning for six months. And, that’s what will happen this time. If you support Democrats and don’t like Trump, you should ask yourself why Democrats are doing everything in their power to help Trump win re-election. Because that is the way things are going right now.
Confirmation bias is running rampant on the left and seemingly everyone is caught up in it. That is going to make the shock even greater when things don’t turn out the way they expect. Brace yourselves. It’s gonna get ugly and it will come from the Left.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay