I read an opinion article about Post-Truth today on my phone. It’s titled “Truth isn’t the problem, we are”. It’s theme was that truth is in the eye of the political beholder and we, as a society, will not accept any truth that doesn’t fit into our political cubbyhole. It’s as if, on one of those baby toys with the pegs and holes, you had a square “Truth” peg in your hand and tried to fit it into your round “political narrative” hole. If it doesn’t fit, it must not be true.
But one thing that was mentioned was political “Allegiance”. Allegiance isn’t a word that we use on a day to day basis. But it’s something that we practice more and more. Unfortunately, it’s just a word without much meaning when we say the “Pledge of Allegiance”. But more and more we’re giving our allegiance to politicians. We’re either in total allegiance of Trump or we’re in total sedition. This is not just with Trump. The same thing existed with Obama, there’s little left/right difference in this phenomena.
I fall quite a bit into the right as it comes to politics. I believe in small government. But I will be damned if I will be “Allegiant” to any politician. There are things that I like that Trump has done and there’s a few things that I like that Obama did. But they are all fallible and they are all human (despite some evidence to the contrary).
We need to get back to the place where we negotiated things that fell more toward the center. Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill were bitter political enemies, but my understanding is that they realized that to do the public's work, they had to negotiate and compromise. We are no longer doing this and we’re worse off because of it.
Why can’t we compromise anymore? I’m thinking that what passes as “News” will not dare to let it happen. If any Republican wandered into the Gun Control issue, they would be lambasted by Fox News. If any Democrat wandered into the immigration issue, CNN and MSNBC would lambast them (as would the major networks, but I’m not taking sides in this post). So they stay, not only on their side of the fence, but they stay just as far away from the fence as possible.
I leave you with the first portion of the poem “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats. Check out the whole thing here. The rest of it is rather dark, but I think this portion is apt.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Folks, keep your “News” consumption to a minimum. The center is not holding.