in order to boost their own snowflake self-esteem, fuel their confirmation bias, and avoid the inconvenient trappings of cognitive dissonance that we all should feel from time to time (because none of us know every goddamn thing), those in the center mass of today's political left, find the most extreme nutcase people (fascists, mainly) and ridiculous extreme behavior of the far edge lunacy of the right, and prop those up, with spotlights and all, presenting it as the center mass majority of the right, and thus get to rest easy knowing that it's their own position that's the only reasonable path for this country to progress forward.
then, those with internet troll-like tendencies, spout their one-sided horseshit, chasing it quickly with declarations of great lament about how this country seems more divided than ever.
yeah, perhaps it is. and it's exactly your intellectual dishonesty that's doing it.
when you talk more than listen.
when the source of your frustration ends up with you asking yourself "why don't more people think like me; they must be idiots".
when you don't for a second, try to understand the position of the other person, ignoring what your chosen news media bubble tells you what they want you to know about that other person.
if so, then you are the cancer that is splitting this country.
regardless of which political "side" you're on, try this. write down 10 reasons why you think those on the "other" side believe the way they do. and none of the 10 can be reasons fed to you by either FOX or MSNBC, but real reasons that real people have for believing that their values are those that are best for the country. because not only should you be able to; it should be easy. because if it's not, then you are this country's divisiveness. then you are to some degree an enemy combatant of this nation.
and don't even get me started with those who believe their highest purpose of fueling and debating their side is to expose hypocrisy from the other side. i mean, if exposing hypocrisy per se is a valuable service (and it can be argued that it does bring exposure that leads to corrective action), then why are some only interested in exposing hypocrisy from their team? if hypocrisy is bad (and it is), and you've chosen the path to expose it (good on you), then expose it. everywhere. but if you're only interested in exposing the other team, while ignoring your own, well, isn't that itself an example of the hypocrisy you hate so much?
i guess perhaps one might think, well, who am i to affect an entire country?
well, yeah, no one individually can, really.
but then, there's that saying about how no drop of rain blames itself for the flood.
that's part of what citizenship is.
one does what's best for the country, in all ways big and small, above and beyond what's best for *my team*.
if you've chosen a team, and to change your mind later feels like an admission that maybe you've been wrong all along about some things, and that causes you to ignore those thoughts. that's cognitive dissonance.
if you stand for the flag and anthem, and have contempt for those who don't, that's fine. most of us do. but it takes more than standing for the flag, acting like a patriot, acting like a citizen. putting on a show, and being angry with those who refuse to be actors like you. no. standing for the flag is supposed to be symbolic of your actual behavior, it's not just for show. it's not so that you can act like a patriot when the anthem place, but then turn around and live your life as an american tearing this country down.
why don't we all derive more strength and more purpose, not by more tightly clinging to what we previously decided, but by realizing that the more we learn, the more we realize how much we still have to learn. and that changing one's mind from legitimate new information is a strength, not a weakness. it's exactly the philosophy that drives science and advanced us as a society and as a species. it advanced us all the way from banging rocks together, to banging moon rocks together.
"my team" territorialism is best left to the reptiles and lower mammals.
let's allow the escapism of sports feed that vestigal remainder of our dna.
let's not allow it to resist our evolution as humans.
if you enjoy the benefits of being in a society, then occasionally your words and actions should reflect and support the good of society.
freedom is selfish, and to some degree it should be.
citizenship is unselfish and we should all make that a priority from time to time too.