I just had the most entertaining Twitter scuffle to date. This guy, who may be another guy too, the accounts seem very self-referential and alike, he posts as if he has been there and done it but his posts indicate maybe not the way he portrays. Who knows, it smells. I called him out. It was all rather humorous, it almost looks like one guy running a bunch of accounts. But if these are real - well that is much worse and it got me thinking. Why are people using such poor discernment?
I said, very often, beginning in 2020 that the events occurring around us were so profound that it was a bellwether moment, a true test of discernment and judgment. A person did not have to be “right” about every detail along the way to ‘pass the test’, but if someone consistently fell for what increasingly became obvious deceptions, it was not a good sign. Some of the deceptions have been more complex and through that complexity, sometimes it took longer to parse through the noise to at least recognize that it all smelled.
With each of these deceptions we have balkanized a little, people on the right certainly have, I cannot speak for the left. How long did it take you to realize masks were mostly a show of compliance and theater? Did you ever fall for any of the Q annon stuff, or even the Q adjacent things? How long before you realized that Trump was not exactly what many believed?…that last one is still controversial to many, a bit of a hot topic perhaps, but there is something profound under the surface.
Did you go from creating memes making fun of the Left for “Russia, Russia, Russia” to screaming, “we need to bomb Russia, ‘murica dammit”? Many that consider themselves conservatives did. How quickly so many forgot the Ukrainian corruption scandals, impeachment, and Vindman as well as years of progressives telling us that Russia controlled the right – many just forgot all of that when the war drums sounded and went right back into that mode that the powers-that-be need conservatives to be. That ready, steady, sure thing Friday night date that will say yes to any war coming down the road.
I hate to be dogmatic, dogmatism is rarely helpful, but I am not sure there is a cure for that level of being deceived and used. Conservatism is supposed to be about principles, about thinking through problems based upon reality – realism. It is supposed to be about preserving things that are important, true conservatism is not raw, emotional nationalism. You do not have to be a whore that answers the call of any abusive john your pimp brings to you – and yet, that has become what most conservatives are.
The situation in Ukraine has proven this, on Twitter at least, people out in the real world seem to have a lot more sense. What are the principles in all of this a real conservative ought to be concerned with – honesty, rationality, fairness, constitutionality, and frankly self-interest (what best conserves what we value).
Half the people claiming ‘experience’ say things that make it appear that experience was little more than a Private First Class sweeping a motorpool for three years. They may have done more, or may claim to have done more, but ideas and concepts matter. Stupid is as stupid does, and there is a lot of stupid out there.
But people listen, itchy ears and all that. And the cacophony of voices is loud. No matter that what these folks now say is the same thing ANTIFA, or Occupy Democrats are saying, no matter any of the facts. No matter the principles that ought to apply. Someone has held out a shiny and many are hypnotized by it, and several are too happy to claim they know and go along.
I once thought words and ideas mattered, the narrative is all that matters now. Most are lost in the deception created for them and supported by their own efforts. They consume the narrative, shape it, make it their own and transmit it to others. This is the real pandemic.
The circles shrink, perhaps that was intentional - maybe it was part of the plan. For me at least, dogmatism looks more appealing than sharing a tent with fools that have had every opportunity to know better or pounding one's head against the wall. You cannot save the world, you cannot fix stupid, you cannot help people that willingly help in their own destruction. This is who many of those around us are...
Epistemology, Critical Thinking, And Truth Claims