in this video, the narrator talks about how ideas catch on and infect people, very much like a virus. some of the most infectious ideas are one that make people angry, because they split into two groups that form an ecosystem of sorts, and they fight back and forth…pretty soon, they don’t even spend their time arguing against the ideas of the opposing side, but instead they just argue with each other about how much they hate them.
i was very surprised when donald trump swept through the swing states and won the presidency, yesterday. i was part of the crowd that didn’t really like either of them but basically favored clinton. in my mind, she is was the devil we did know, and that was good. but enough other people, sewn with the same virus, sprouted red. (does this mean i am more conservative than those that voted for a republican? i think that anyone who wanted to throw a monkey wrench into the system, or wanted to trust a tv star instead of a politician, is much more desperate for change).
when i woke up today i watched clinton’s concession, obama’s statement, and then john green ‘s vlog post and read maajid nawaz ‘s piece from this morning. along with trump’s victory speech last night, and steven colbert’s live coverage, they all sounded very, very reasonable (all the same i couldn’t help staring too closely at clinton, while she spoke, trying to distinguish the sincerity from the effortless affectation. and then that made me feel cynical about everyone). in summary, compiled from all of them:
- we have to accept the winner. trending #notmypresident won’t help anything. he is, unless you are planning on using your second amendment right to take up arms.
- i really hope that trump doesn’t get a special prosecutor against clinton, because even you think it is justified for the email scandal, it still smacks too much of the political punishment of a rival. making an example.
- we all have to get together and mend
- society is too polarized and media is too politicized and we need to chill out a bit
- the sun will come out tomorrow
so my question is this: am i taking the message from “this video will make you angry” too literally when i worry that some qualities – common sense and gracefully accepting disappointment and measured passions – can’t compete with the adaptive power of outrage and cynicism and conspiracy theory and martyr complexes. sure, john green and obama and these other people that seem reasonable, to me, they are being sensible and good, but if trump won then are “sensible and good” the qualities that define this moment? if it feels really good to have an enemy, someone to blame and hate, and usually those two sides have much more in common, anyway, what could happen to drain that pressure?
i would like things to calm down, a bit. perhaps cnn and msnbc and abc and so many other outlets can shake off the dirt and try to figure out why all the polls and our news was so fucking off. this cycle i listened to a lot of dave rubin, sam harris, joe rogan, and some salon and huff post, and listened to a bunch of steven crowder and milo yiannopoulos and ben shapiro. i was trying to get a nonpartisan, educated sense of what was going on. and i, like lots of people (especially people living in blue states), was totally off in my predilections. i thought that when it all came out in the wash most people would vote for the devil they did know, but instead they were a very progressive in that they wanted change.
god, this is so weird. it could turn out that he is a racist, narcissistic force that topples america, or it could be that anyone who didn’t figure out that he was all bark and beneath it he really cares about the country and is smart enough to govern it is an idiot.