The Ideological Shoe and other Feet

Arguing with comments I left in 2012 about how Obama isn’t a dictator.

I have been a Breitbart reader for many years. Don’t be shocked. I won’t wag my finger here, but more liberals should read this content from start to finish. That doesn’t imply supporting the ideas, it implies trying to grapple with them. This is in the same spirit that I watched (the old) Glenn Beck for a year.

Every now and then, I even got involved in the comment section!!!

Most of what you’ll see below are from after the 2012 election.

I distinctly remember leaving comments in response to the claim that “Obama is a dictator” because I always found this claim baffling. Was it a criticism that was supposed to be taken at face value?

To me this was alarmist language wrapped in hyperbole. And I would say as such. Surely they didn’t REALLY believe it.

Today, I try to tell myself the same thing. And that’s the predicament I find myself in. I am very concerned about Trump, but 2012 David reminds me that people are prone to extreme fears when their political side loses and echo chambers reinforce their fears.

I am constantly going back and forth in my mind between trying to be dismissive and going into full-blown panic about the demise of Democracy. That’s not a healthy mental state to be in.

The spirit of these comments were often to ask serious questions about the accusations being leveled at Obama. Every time Obama was accused of being a Muslim hell bent on destroying America, I would try to ask if this was real or knowingly inflammatory.

Sometimes they were genuine beliefs. People gave their justifications and I would prod a bit more.

I tried not to be a troll or a jerk. Maybe the occasional snark would slip out, but for the most part, my goal was to just understand the commenters. I know Breitbart doesn’t have a great reputation, but you can indeed have good conversations if you are willing to wade through mud as well.

But again, this post isn’t about the David in 2012/13 who was confident the president was just misunderstood by half the population. This is about the David in 2016 who is worried about the rolling back of civil liberties.

When I let my mind wander, I can envision all kinds of ways where the next four years go from bad to apocalyptic.

But another part of me, a part I really want to listen to, brings up these comments. Don’t get caught up in ideological hype. Things will be fine. There will be decisions and political moves I disagree with and that sucks, but it won’t be the end of the world. We will move forward and progress will come back if we stay focus and fight for our ideals.

We have checks and balances.

And yet, there is a real fear that what Trump wants to accomplish will involved religious tests. Mass deportation that would break up families and more. These are things that, when said in such strident terms are monstrous. Could anyone really want to reside over such indignities?

They won’t delete actual climate change data?!?! That’s conspiracy theory stuff. Then again, a narcissist will do what his cronies tell him.

In the wake of an attack, would he build a Muslim registry? Have we forgotten the great atrocities of the 20th century already?

I have good sources of information now. I know what’s going on. The signs are easy to interpret because the water hasn’t been muddied. This is how fascism takes foot.

Do we have a “Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda” yet?

No. Of course not. And we won’t. Bannon will just be giving advice. Nothing wrong with that, right?

I am not in a bubble. This is for keeps. This is for real. This time it’s for all the marbles. I am too smart to be a pawn in some kind of propaganda war.

There is no future. There are too many ways the next four years lead to global war. Are we part of the next axis of evil? Will it be Russia and the U.S. against Germany and China for global domination. Will my child be swept up into a world on fire?

It’s hard to wrestle with these two competing instincts. I can say this. It’s not normal. It’s the sign of something.

May you live in interesting times…..