It’s incredibly easy to get to swept up in the tsunami of public opinion, and social media is an endless abyss of exactly that. It wasn’t until 2020 that I ever had complete and total strangers come out of the woodwork to voice their disapproval of various posts I made on Facebook. It wasn’t until 2020 that I actually began unfriending people for reasons other than the fact that I didn’t know them personally. It wasn’t until 2020 that I began monitoring my quality of life on social media and seeing who contributed to it and who detracted from it. I unfriended or blocked former real life friends and complete strangers alike, and not because I couldn’t stomach the disagreement.
In fact, I welcome disagreement. Well, I should clarify: I welcome constructive disagreement, wherein both or all parties acknowledge the other’s right to their opinion, which is supported by a set of facts. I was astounded by the sheer amount of people, mostly people I’ve never met, who came out of left field to tell me how wrong, ignorant, uneducated, privileged, (insert whatever buzzword you prefer here), they thought I was. The sheer presumptuousness and hypocrisy ate away at me. Not the substance of their counter-arguments, mind you. I can handle counter-arguments and substance all day long.
Let’s take calling someone you’ve never met ignorant, for example. The sheer level of presumption, hypocrisy, and ironically, ignorance necessary make that statement with a straight face is staggering. The irony lies in the fact that if you, dear reader, call me ignorant, that is ignorance on your part. Quite simply, you have no idea how ignorant I may or may not be, so therefore, you are ignorant of my ignorance.
Side note, this is not a plug for the word ignorance.
Moving right along. The point I’m making is that we live in a society where it is acceptable to make assumptions about another person’s level of ignorance, privilege, education, and intentions with little to ZERO information about that person. It’s simply mind-blowing, because that in and of itself is ignorant, privileged, uneducated, and ill-intended. Classic.
I feel I should add that I see this phenomenon on the Left as well as the Right. If I were to label the biggest problems on each side with one word, I would say the Left’s biggest problem is hypocrisy. On the Right, it’s gullibility. My opinion on the hypocrisy of the Left is no secret. However, the gullibility of the Right is almost just as frustrating. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the memes, the shared posts, the retweets, the misattributed or outright fabricated quotes designed to shock and awe. The posts that practically scream HEY I BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THIS WAKE UP SHEEPLE. I find there is little to no merit to many of these posts. I have friends and family who share things along these lines, and I quietly shake my head and move on. That’s not to say I’ve never shared a post I later discovered to be inaccurate, but I’ve acknowledged these instances and corrected myself. I do my utmost to do the social media equivalent of thinking before I speak. That is, research before you post.
I have no doubt that many of these friends and family members mean well, but I feel that this kind of wanton disregard for the veracity of what’s being claimed does more harm than good. Many of these people walk a fine line between, “This appears fishy and warrants further investigation,” and full-blown conspiracy theory. I often have trouble subscribing to the latter. Aliens, ghosts, political conspiracies, it all falls under the massive eyebrow raise umbrella for me. The investigator in me needs evidence. It needs numbers. It needs more than anecdotes and whataboutisms.
Make no mistake, both sides are guilty of lacking evidence for their claims. It just so happens that one side controls the media, Big Tech, Hollywood, and the entire cultural narrative: the Left. And therein lies my problem. It’s a massive power imbalance. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy being force-fed a narrative and then called an ignorant, privileged racist when I don’t swallow it whole. I like to know what’s in my food and what it’s made around and if the institution that prepared it is sanitary before I dig in. But the Left doesn’t give you that choice. You’ll eat it and you’ll like it, by God, or you’ll be cast out from your social circle and branded a POS by whatever identity politics group has the biggest megaphone.
The Left doesn’t encourage anyone to think about it. They don’t want you to think about it. Think about what? Anything. Just fall in line. Wear your mask. Don’t question the election. Acknowledge your privilege. Shut up. No, wait. Speak up because silence is violence. And my personal favorite: unify. I’m as tired of hearing the word “unity” and all its variations as I am of hearing the word “racism.” Why? Because both are completely and utterly devoid of meaning. The word “meh” has more meaning to me at this point.
Suffice it to say that the Left, the supposed Party of Unity, is the same party that spent the entire summer stoking the flames of the inferno we all saw on everywhere for months on end. This is the same party didn’t so much as wag a finger when CHAZ happened, when federal property was under assault in Portland, day and night, when Kenosha and Minneapolis and Dallas were all on fire. Yet the Left collectively gasps when the Capitol is stormed and is now in an uproar. I’ve said all along that all of these incidents are unacceptable. Completely disgusting that it was allowed to happen and allowed to continue. That applies to the incident at the Capitol as well. I’ve watched as the Left outright justified and encouraged the burning and looting and rioting we saw all summer all across America. I’ve watched as the Left systematically eroded the fabric of basic human decency through censorship, shaming, name-calling, and division.
And now they call for unity. The gall makes me want to vomit. The Left has, in no uncertain terms, said to America, “We will outright condone and encourage violence, riots, arson, murder, and wanton destruction anywhere and everywhere until it no longer suits our agenda, and then we will smugly outstretch an open hand and mutter, ‘Truce?’”
Except it’s not even a truce they want. Just look at the words they use and the actions they’ve taken in the last couple of days. President Trump banned from Facebook and Twitter. Parler deplatformed by Apple, Google, and Amazon. This is being celebrated by the Left. Those on the Right were told, if they didn’t like Facebook and Twitter, to go make their own alternatives. So they did. And then Big Tech banned the alternatives. One would be foolish to think it starts and ends with Parler and President Trump.
And those celebrating this sort of political persecution will applaud right up until the moment the woke mob comes for them. I’m reminded of Padme Amadala’s quote from Star Wars: “So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause.” Indeed.
So not only has the Left continued to shrink the Overton window until there is a perceived Great Wall of China between the Left and the Right, but they have stoked the flames of division to the point that there will soon be a second internet, devoid of the censorship and “fact-checking” infesting the current internet ecosystem. Liberal or conservative, pro-BLM or white supremacist, Blue Internet or Red Internet, one or the other.
Because of the Left, you’re given the choice to either accept the entirety of the narrative with which you’re presented and conform, or reject it entirely and fall on the opposite end of the spectrum and the “wrong side of history.” There is no middle ground. It is black and white, both literally and figuratively.
And that’s exactly what they want.