I've watched all of us get more distant by being closer together in conversation online all day, every day. People don't discuss. they label. You're Leftist or Right-wing or Progressive or Conservative. Whatever. The thing none of us are is just a person. Wow. what happened? When I stand in Dark Delicacies and talk with people we all have different opinions no matter the subject. Because we're human with different experiences and opinions. That's cool. That's what life is all about. But once on line and it is like the guy driving his dick down the highway.
Is it just me or does everybody feel a sense of oneness and not part of the human synergy? So I asked my friend Brian Keene how he felt about the situation. Hmmm. We're kind of in sync as you'll see below. After reading this tell me how you feel, without politicizing. How do you feel as an individual? How do you feel about yourself? How can we make this work? I look forward to reading your comments.
I'm apolitical in that I belong to neither party, and don't blindly echo the talking points of FOX News, MSNBC, or CNN. On some issues, my personal code leans to the Left. On others, it leans to the Right. But mostly, I stand firm in the middle of the road -- the most dangerous place to walk, but the only place I feel true to myself and my principles.
The key, for me, has always been to be respectful of another's opinion, regardless of whether it's an opinion I personally hold. I have friends who identify as Conservatives, Progressives, Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, Libertarians, and even a few anarchists. As long as they are being respectful of others, and being respectful of me, I listen. Sometimes, I find my perspective or outlook changing depending on the information and knowledge and personal perspective they share with me.
But when it comes to racism, or bigotry, or sexism, or any other form of disrespect or hate, that's when I elect to stop listening and tune out. I'll defend to the death a stupid person's right to express stupid political speech, but that doesn't mean I have to stand there and listen to it, nor do I have to respect it. The moment a person begins castigating someone for their sexual orientation, religion, gender, race, or political party, I disregard everything else they say. And that goes for ANY discrimination. I have as much intolerance for those screaming that every American who voted for Trump is a racist as I do with every American screaming that Clinton was in cahoots with Russia and some ill-conceived and poorly-articulated Illuminati Pizza Trafficking ring. I'm as repulsed those who disrespect Christians as I am by those disrespecting Muslims. I'm against the clamor to ban all firearms as I am against the clamor to ban gay marriage.
And as a result, I feel very alone these days. And very small. I watch the carefully cultivated social media echo chambers of my friends, all curated to cater to their own individual confirmation biases, and I feel very small and afraid of what's happening in this country, and to us.
I find myself spending less time online, and more time reading books. But mostly, I'm just worried about the future, and how both sides of the political aisle seem hellbent on hurtling us into oblivion, with no quarter asked and no fucks given, simply so they can score points on the other team.
I find myself heartbroken.