Only a Sith Deals in Absolutes.....
We're living in the preamble to next American Civil War. Don't believe me? Look around. People are more divided than ever. Those who think like me, i.e. those who believe in looking at both sides of the story and examining the facts, are more and more isolated out here with our remaining brethren. Sadly, there is no place this is more prevalent than the arena of politics.
I freely admit that I go out of my way to avoid politics and everything that it entails, but you can't avoid it entirely without eschewing social media (nope) and the news altogether (impossible). It's made even worse by how biased our news is nowadays. The vast majority of the "mainstream" out there is biased heavily towards the left (sorry, them's the facts). The other side of the mainstream (and heavily outnumbered) is Fox and they're so biased towards the right that it's laughable. The independent outlets are even worse. Have you ever read the drivel that comes out of the Conservative Tribune or the Huffington Post? The slant is so pronounced it's laughable.
There's a narrative being set up here in America in the simplest of terms. Why the simplest of terms? Have you ever seen the classic Mike Judge ("Beavis and Butthead", "Office Space") film "Idiocracy"? If you haven't then you REALLY need to. It's prophetic.
We're getting dumber by the minute in this country. It's sad, but it's absolutely true. Life is contained in 140 characters. People are starting to think in 140 characters. I love memes as much as the next guy or gal, but we are quite literally going back to the age of the pictograph. We're knocking on the door of hieroglyphics, folks.
My daughter absolutely loves this website/subreddit/tumblr deal called "Shower Thoughts". It's shit like "The early bird gets the worm...what about the worm? He was up early and got eaten alive...." or "If you find a penny on the sidewalk and pick it up in less than 4 seconds you've made more than minimum wage."
While there are admittedly some interesting and amusing nuggets to be found in Shower Thoughts, what really bothers me is that my kid isn't having any of these thoughts FOR HERSELF!! Are you following me here, people?
The most lasting changes are the evolutionary kind. They're the insidious shit that happens so slowly that you don't even notice that it's happening. That's the shit that really worries me, especially since I've taught my kid to think for herself and question everything. There's a deadly beauty in the simplistic, the easy way out, the shiny high-tech.
Your news is no different. Generally speaking, the days of "objective journalism" are dead and gone. Some outlets do a better job of dressing it up in the old clothes, but the absolutes are all over the place. They'll tell you so many things that are reinforced in 140 characters or less by people both famous and unknown....they'll tell you: TRUMP SUPPORTERS ARE A BUNCH OF BACKWARDS BIGGOTS, LIBERALS ARE SOCIALISTS WHO WANT TO TAKE YOUR FREEDOMS, THE DESIRE TO GET RICH MAKES YOU EVIL, PRIDE IN BEING WHITE MAKES YOU A RACIST, PRIDE IN BEING BLACK MAKES YOU A RACIST, SOCIALIST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ARE A PARADISE, SOUTHERNERS HATE BLACK PEOPLE, etc, etc, etc.
That's the underlying tenor of the conversation, and it's a bunch of bullshit. It's what happens when each side spends so long trying to win the argument, smug in their righteousness, that they start dealing in nothing but absolutes.
Obi-Wan told us that "Only a Sith deals in absolutes". I don't feel that's entirely true. I think the Rebels were just as guilty of it, but they were fighting on the right side in that particular fictional exchange so they got a pass.
For the love of God and all that is holy, folks, do yourself a solid: READ BETWEEN THE LINES. Life is never black and white; it's all shades of gray. Learn to differentiate. The people that the "less enlightened" around you are telling you are the enemy often times are not.