Friday, February 03, 2017

A Divided Country Under Incompetent Leadership

It truly baffles me that there are millions of Americans who seem to live in an alternative information universe. They voted for Trump, somehow convinced beyond all human understanding he would make a good president. If you read their comments on Facebook and other sites, they believe Obama was a horrible president who did nothing for eight years. They believe the lies of Trump’s surrogates without requiring any facts or verification.

Of course, racism, misogyny, ignorance, etc., all play a part in this, but I am still stunned that people who live in my country, live in my city and neighborhood, can be convinced that Santa and the Easter Bunny are real and the earth is only six thousand years old.

How is it that as a country, we voted for Obama twice, and then turned around and handed the presidency to an imbecile like Trump? Can a country be schizophrenic? There certainly is no national consensus on what the “common good” is or how to interpret the Constitution, so how can we possibly mover forward with any kind of national agenda? Millions of Americans can’t even agree on the most basic facts and because of that, Donald Trump sits in the White House.

A big part of the blame has to go to the growth of the conservative media over the last 35 years. FOX News, conservative radio loudmouths like Limbaugh and Imus, and online whack jobs Brietbart, Alex Jones and Matt Drudge, among many others, provide safe places for bigots and religious fanatics, confirming their worst fears and stoking their anger. And the mainstream media must also share blame for failing to challenge the status quo in its thirst for profits and audience share.

How is it possible to change minds when the two sides cannot agree on what is a fact and what isn’t? Our divisiveness is destroying this nation, just as it almost did when Abraham Lincoln was president. Unfortunately for all of us, we don’t have a Lincoln at the helm of state, but a self-centered, mentally ill man/child. The odds of unification in this day and age are not good.

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