False narratives control many of us. There are myriad reasons why our country finds itself a shell of what we once were. It did not happen overnight or by accident.
While we talk about causation a lot, it is the consequences and fallout from making bad choices that will find you, regardless of your political persuasion, race, where you came from, or even your social standing. No one will escape what’s coming unscathed unless we find our footing and take back our lives and our country through any means necessary.
Returning to who we were will be hard. But not making the effort guarantees failure on a monumental scale. Likely worse than World Wars, worse than any pandemic, and worse than any social privation we’ve ever experienced… if we cop out. When the last strut holding us up gets kicked out, an entirely new world of hurt will quickly become almost everyone’s experience.
We must prevent that from happening. We can, and we must, but not the way you might think. When you watch or listen to the “real” news, you hear political and societal wildfires breaking out everywhere, all at once:
- In Europe today, people are chopping wood to stay warm this winter as they did hundreds of years ago because the cost of energy is breathtakingly high. Are we next?
- Judges, drunk with Covid power, are forcing jurors to wear masks, even in the absence of any mandates to do so. Jail for non-compliance!
- Climate Change warriors throw soup on van Gogh’s masterpiece ‘Sunflowers’ painting to protest the use of oil paint!
Such signs are everywhere and contribute greatly to our society splintering. Allan’s Rule Number 14 is at work here: “Dumb people can be convinced of anything.” Acceptance of outrageous thinking and behavior is on us.
Four factors are relevant:
- The effect of chaos in our country
- Our inability to discern reality
- America’s role in the world
- What keeps us from coming together as countrymen?
Our first item “Chaos” is a root cause issue. Socialists, Communists, Leftists, Nihilists, Provocateurs, et all, depend on a state of chaos to be able to go about their work unimpeded. Only by using the distractions they create can they keep the spotlight off them long enough to place that next wrench in the machinery of our lives. These influence groups probably imagine a seminal moment when hordes of people will take to the street and, in one fell swoop, depose the establishment as France did with the storming of the Bastille. Or, as in Russia, with the October Revolution that saw the Bolsheviks consolidate their power to birth the Soviet Union.
Mostly, though, chaos is the cover that sees incremental rather than revolutionary change. Incremental change, accomplished under the banner of chaos, is never well thought out and doesn’t stand up to intellectual scrutiny.
The second factor is the inability of too many of us to discern reality from fiction. You wouldn’t think so many people on opposite sides of an issue could somehow agree on the tactics of confusion, but they have. Let’s try and break this down a bit. Democrats and Republicans (just to name two opposing groups) disagree on almost everything; this you know. But, when you examine their messaging, their individual talking heads who go on Sunday morning shows, and their competing focus group messaging and rhetoric, something strange happens. Each makes the points that speak most loudly to their constituencies, not the persuadable other side you would think that they covet. Even political debates are frequently not persuasive around the margins.
All the aforementioned groups and others decided that their messaging would, in itself, be divisive and not inclusive. Previously, I didn’t understand why. A clue came to me when I remembered Mao’s hatred of intellectuals, whom he killed by the tens of thousands. We see the CCP’s continued hatred of intellectuals to this day. The Communist parties of China, Russia, Cuba, our school boards, and now the Left among others all fear getting off message. Why? It’s sort of like a nod to George Orwell’s Animal Farm with the refrain “Four Legs Good, two Legs Bad.” Consistent and broad-based messaging is difficult unless you keep it simple and enforce message discipline. Virtually all sides don’t trust their own people to freelance messaging, and therefore place a premium to “stay on message.”
Item three considers the hotly debated role of America’s place in the world. We seem to be about as evenly split as ever with half the people not caring a whit about what’s happening elsewhere and the other half intensely glued to their television set, iPad, or mobile device absorbing every nugget that supports their view, whether informed or not!
I’m a believer in the Butterfly Effect. That is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a property of chaotic systems (such as the atmosphere) by which small changes in initial conditions can lead to large-scale and unpredictable variation in the future state of the system.” The system I am most concerned with is our world. I believe it is impossible to ignore world events and not to project what they may ultimately mean for us. To ignore the world inevitably leads to having to face future threats at a disadvantage. Such behavior is ultimately self-destructive.
The simple answer to our fourth topic is inertia and the media. Inertia, according to my physics teacher states that an object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion, stays in motion in a static environment. In our society, the media helps to determine what’s static and what’s not. The media has taken it upon itself to distinguish fact from conjecture. By doing so, they have forgotten their mission and have become just another influence group. A free society depends on reliable, factual, and understandable information. How we get today’s media to become legitimate news reporters once again is a huge question. One for which, I don’t have an answer. Do you?
No news here, our education system has failed us. Covid has exacerbated an already crisis-level learning situation for our young. But the downward spiral of our education began long before Covid. No Democracy can survive with legions of uneducated people choosing to vote for safety and an easy life. Life is hard and frequently unfair. Get over it! Too many of us remember the joy of creating the greatest economic and social system on earth through personal effort, work, risk, and sacrifice, not by Happy Joe delivering his latest goody paid for with “free” money.
Sooner or later, we’ll have to pay our bills. Skipping out on our debts will lead to societal disruption on a scale that most cannot comprehend. Like all wars, all great trials and tribulations, we’ll get to the other side one day. The open question is, will we like where we wind up?
Allan J. Feifer