As we enter a new year, one reflection I can make about 2014 is that the chasm in America between those basing their views on reality and those who choose to live in an ideological fantasyland is wider and deeper than it has been since the Civil War. The economy has been improving, the Affordable Care Act is working, with ten million more people having health care than before the act was signed into law, and marriage equality and legalized marijuana have become business as usual.
Despite all of this, and despite being wrong nearly every time they opened their mouths, Republicans were given the keys to Congress by the voters last November. Go to the comment section of any political article on the Internet and there you’ll find them, the angry, vitriolic, fact-challenged conservatives, hurling insults, straw men arguments and ad hominem attacks without actually addressing any of the issues brought up in the piece. Why? Because they have no facts to refute reality, and can only respond with ideological tropes and blunt anger.
Although FOX News is a major culprit in furthering the divide between conservatives and the fact-based population, the mainstream media bears a great deal of responsibility for our current situation. Afraid to challenge the status quo, afraid of losing viewers, afraid of offending their corporate overlords, the media today allows ignorance to reign free and lies to stand for truth.
Politically, I don’t have a very positive outlook for the coming year. Like alchemists trying to turn lead into gold, Republicans will continue trying to make reality into their own selfish, narrow-minded image and will fail miserably. Problem is, we the people are the ones who will suffer from their stupidity, and the gap between reality and failed ideology will continue growing until it eventually swallows us all.