Have we become a society that is so torn apart that we can’t agree on anything anymore? Or was this always the case and I just fooled myself into believing that there was some time in the not too distant past when people who believed differently could still agree on some basic things.
Like what color the sky is on a clear sunny day.
I’m not sure we are capable of agreeing on anything anymore. We take our cues on what to answer from the high priests of politics as if they have divine inspiration and are not to be questioned. Have we become lemmings that will follow these high priests right off the cliff? I’m becoming more convinced that the sad truth to that answer is yes.
I didn’t watch the Mueller testimony. I didn’t read the report either. I had work to do and the thought of sitting and watching hours upon hours of a Congressional hearing as polarized as this one was not high on my list of things to do. I’ve worked for a Member of Congress in the past, so I know what these hearings are like.
But I was fascinated by the responses to the hearing. It appears that people didn’t watch the same testimony. How could they? The reactions to the testimony were starkly different. Nothing Republicans said about what happened had any relation to what Democrats said happened and vice versa. Not a single thing.
Republicans were claiming the sky was grey. Democrats were claiming the sky was pink.
All I can assume is that people went into the testimony with their minds already made up. They watched to see what they wanted to see and hear and ignored anything that didn’t fit their preconceived notions.
Which leads me to some important questions. What is the point of a hearing when no one is hearing anything?
What is the point of a conversation when no one really wants to converse. Instead, we would rather get our points in and show how right we are and how wrong the other person is. Reminds me of how toddlers have conversations.
What I observe is that a large segment of society (if we can still call it that) has shut down it’s ability and desire to discern and seek out the truth, all while claiming they have the truth.
Our society is so divided that we have stopped listening to anyone who doesn’t parrot the same rhetoric and message that we are parroting. Are we even thinking through what it is we are speaking or typing anymore? I see too many statements from people who argue one thing and then in the next sentence make another argument that requires them to hold the exact opposite position of what they just argued about. Why? What purpose does this serve? Are we so blinded by the idolatry of being right that we can’t take just a moment to see how inconsistent we are?
I wonder if we have become incapable to considering the possibility that we could be wrong and someone else could be right about something. Most of what I hear is a passionate, mostly irrational, defense of one’s own side – regardless of what is said or done. Why? To what end?
What color is the sky? Depending on who you ask, you will get a different answer – a passionate answer. Yet these answers all too often don’t have any relation to reality.
The blind allegiance to a political ideology, to politicians, to party, is not healthy. It is destructive. It is costly. The cost of such blind loyalty will be great, that I know. We all lose when blind allegiance runs rampant through society.
The cost of blind irrational loyalty is trust. But that’s just the first thing to fall victim to this blind loyalty. The other costs are intelligence, empathy, mercy, seeing people as made in the image of God. This blind irrational loyalty to party, politician, and ideology also costs us our faith. We can’t serve two masters and so our faith in God becomes subject to our faith in the gods we elect and swear loyalty to. After all, we are fond of painting politicians as saving messiahs who will save the country from the evil ones. Republicans and Democrats have been and are guilty of this idolatry.
While we are busy as a nation making enemies of fellow citizens, the world is watching and waiting to see how this will end. It isn’t going to end well if we continue on this path.
What color is the sky? I weep when we can’t even answer such a simple question because agreeing with someone else will look weak, or cost political points, or give some kind of credit to an opponent.
We can be better than this if we choose. But we must start using our brains again. If we choose not to, then the path we are heading on will not be pleasant. And it will not end well for any of us. But will those who are blinded by irrational loyalty even see it when it hits? Or will they spin it away because their high priest said it was someone else’s fault?