‘Red vs. Blue’ nonsense going to get us all killed
To the Editor:
So, 2016 was something else, eh? Between the presidential campaign, growing civil unrest, religious zealotry and the list of cherished celebrities/musicians that kicked the bucket, it’s a marvel we haven’t ripped each other apart in the streets.
As the year comes to a close, I think – or at least hope – we can all agree that this “Red vs. Blue” nonsense is going to get us all killed. Discussion is the cornerstone of Democracy, of course. But can anyone still say we have “discussions” anymore? On anything? Ever? Americans aligning their entire identities, and the judgement of others’ identities, based solely on political affiliation? What is this, Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, circa 1990? This is insane.
Now, in the latest stunning display of doomed behavior, is the misuse of the term “Fake News.” It was coined to describe the blogs and social media pages created to perpetuate false news to generate clicks and page views to open the door for a killing in ad revenue. The cat’s out of the bag and the jig is up … only it isn’t. Consumers of said fake (in all literal senses of the word) news on both sides of the imaginary political fence now point at anything that challenges their belief structure and chant “Fake news! Fake news!”
While real issues face our country – crumbling infrastructure, ailing medical programs, global power shifts (not in our favor, mind you) – we bicker among ourselves about who gets to use what bathroom or if ladies really should make as much money as the menfolk. We can’t even agree to protect and preserve drinking water!
The worst part? I can already feel half of you cooking up labels for me. “That damn dirty liberal” or “Get a load of this Trump apologist.” Why, exactly? I haven’t made any partisan claims. But admit it, some of you have already branded me “Red” or “Blue” and are already thinking up ways to write off everything you just read, if you’ve even made it this far. That’s what we’ve become as a nation.
While we squabble, those who would have us in chains grow more powerful. Corporations and their puppet politicians raid the tax coffers, gut our middle class and consolidate their way to monopoly. America is no longer ours. Less than 1 percent own more than 60 percent of the nation’s collective wealth. The bottom 40 percent is scraping by with 14 percent. And it’s only getting exponentially worse. The talking heads keep saying the economy is on its way up. Really? Do any of you feel this booming economy? Have your living costs gotten any more manageable? But sure, let’s fight about who can marry their gun or whether or not life begins at the boner.
Kind Edward Longshanks I, easily one of the most savage and brutal monarchs in human history, said in response to his aristocracy’s growing concern of peasant rebellion while royal troops were away on crusade, “Sheep will smear sheep.”