This Could Be US But Y’all Play Too Much

The callous exchanges. The name-calling. The shouting down of others. The jokes and the memes that ridicule are all getting to be a bit much and we should agree that this form of communication is ineffectual and offers no real solution. By now it should be evident that how we frame our discussions are either nonsensical or oftentimes simply offer contradictory reasoning. When our dissent turns to tumult and incur far-reaching consequences of threats, acts of violence, or even regret, we end up conceding to a self-destructive cycle usually found in our prepubescent stages of development. What is more disturbing is that these social interactions are usually performative based which appears sanctioned by a subscription to groupthink or worse, a subtle mob rule mentality. With little introspection and total disregard of decorum, the resulting mood is bereft of any real thought or seriousness that we should come to expect, followed by any emotional maturity that proffers a diversified American ideal in our resolve going forward.

Our divergent attitudes resulted in unprecedented action in the national elections. You can’t look to statistically driven data of those with or without degrees, nor on those who reside in cosmopolitan versus rural areas for scapegoating. You can’t blame it on class stratification by race, wealth, profession, age, nor political affiliation. These findings which are a generalization may play a contributing factor to our decision making but it downplays the significance by way of interpretation, which doesn’t make it any more compelling.

What appears to be compelling is how we seem to respond to each other and address those issues with a lack of seriousness. We use hyperbole, and we are oftentimes crass, cynical, sarcastic and or condescending. Oftentimes all at the same time, because we can find humor in it. We can simply be just too smug with one another. We seem to despise the alternative; to agree to disagree respectfully and look for compromise, but we choose not to. We play too much politics. We gravitate towards taking from others in order to make gains. We are quick to recognize and glorify the excess but too easily dismiss and overlook the extractions by failing to notice the dearth that remains around us. We look to simply avenge ourselves in that moment and find social capital in hatred (yes having haters is now a legitimate enterprise apparently).

For those who feel like they are above the fray and sarcastically mock the conservative or right wing attempts at infantilizing those who are either different or don’t agree with them, this long pause you are experiencing now is long overdue and forthcoming. You have essentially weaponized intellectualism to take your opponent’s third eye’ out rather than to open it. In hindsight this stoked their ire, inflamed their senses, and contributed to a lot of the rhetoric that basically went unchallenged to this day. All because it comes off as merely condescending.

Emboldened further, this caustic libertarian rabble rousing response is nothing more than a chaotic self-infantilization to get what is perceived to be your way, or your just due. It is perfunctorily seen as getting your country back, your jobs back, your privilege, and your sense of security in fear of this imagined sense of losing a superior identity, a hierarchical order and a sense of world order conflated with having an American pride. Actually this is a long drawn out temper-tantrum.

People play into the politics and play up the rhetoric on social media and on television by feeding into these divisive behaviors which in turn causes this viral dissonance. When we do retreat to our corners, feeling as if we won some round of battle in our minds or got the last word in, we actually haven’t resolved anything. It simply rebroadcasts and turns into a vicious sensationalized cycle — at the expense of accuracy — that is axiomatic of resentment. The vitriol that takes place in what should be constructive debates replaces sound judgment and ignores shared fundamental values in order to score political or cultural capital. We know that there can be no pride in this, but the back and forth taunting is just as worse.

None of the issues were ever clearly laid out constructively for understanding and debate due to all the shouting and fighting, and infighting. We just ran with our tribal impulses and decided that we are not going to even listen to each other. We made our best efforts instead with in an appeal to emotion-laden retorts rather than an appeal to pragmatism. For instance while republican appeal to fear of rising immigration — purportedly the cause of high incidences of crime, job loss, and a threat of terrorism, the counterargument was an appeal to ridicule and spite for having such uninformed views, which simply dismissed the argument entirely. I continue to witness this happening on many of our esteemed national media channels that fail to deliver substantive journalism.

Seriously, a vote in part, and primarily predicated on building a wall with Mexico is so revealing. The physical wall represents one of many walls in the minds of the electoral college vote taking shape in this physical form. Forgetting the need for urgent repair and expansion of our increasingly stretched infrastructure due to population increases, age and neglect, we focused on the symbolism conveyed in the proposed erection of this super structure along the southern vast neighboring border with Mexico. Yet the U.S. has no embargoes with Mexico and has not enlisted the country as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, actions that would seemingly, more so warrant a permanent structure like this to be built. Apparently this rationalization signifies certain sensibilities as notably posited by Costica Bradatan, Associate Professor of Humanities in the Honors College at Texas Tech University, in a New York Times article published in 2011.

In a world of uncertainty and confusion, a wall is something to rely on; something standing right there, in front of you — massive, firm, reassuring. With walls come mental comfort, tranquility and even a vague promise of happiness. Their sheer presence is a guarantee that, after all, there is order and discipline in the world.

I tend to challenge these notions that reflect either a crude fatalistic sense of despair or the snarky view that we we should acquiesce to an undemocratic societal subordination and get over it. This is all under the auspices of a nationalistic front whose primal instincts are focused on an imagined, slippery slope of a fear and threat of others. We know this to be un-American. However, if this is truly not what American values were built on then we should actually stop playing around here and seriously start working together to make our democracy work better for everyone instead of debasing and distorting it. We should not contort the democratic process where we instill rival and fearsome tactics to achieve uncalculated outcomes. We should not have our democratic processes relegated to a wrestling event, where the most powerful among us puts the weakest in a chokehold — with a nod and a smirk to schadenfreude — for the tap out and to the cacophony of divisive cheers and jeers.

Some of the protectionist rhetoric that inspire the erection of walls have considerable duality in the form of basis and resolve mentally. Our lack of exposure considers the world outside of our boundaries to be dangerous and threatening, yet we fail to recognize the importance of that outside world for our sustainability and more importantly our humanity. We fail to recognize and bask in our true advantages in the reflection of our diversity outward, and dwell in the dark reflections of discord inward. As Professor Bradatan goes on to point out next.

Granted, walls can also block one’s view, but that should not be such big problem, especially when one wants to hide. At closer inspection, a wall occasions a dual process. On one hand, by building a wall I try to hide myself, to live in its shadow and, at the limit, make myself invisible. On the other, however, it is precisely by building it that I come to disclose myself in a decisive manner. Through the erection of the wall I expose myself totally; my secret fears and anxieties can now be contemplated in all their nakedness. A wall is above all the admission of a fundamental vulnerability.

I tend to challenge these notions that reflect either a snarky, crude, fatalistic sense of despair or project the view that we we should acquiesce to an undemocratic societal subordination and get over it. This is all under the auspices of nationalism from an imagined, slippery slope threat and marginalization of others. However, if this is truly not what American values were built on then we should actually stop playing around here and seriously start working together to make our democracy work better for everyone instead of debasing and distorting it. We should not contort the democratic process where we instill rival and fearsome tactics to achieve uncalculated outcomes. We should not have our democratic processes relegated to a wrestling event, where the most powerful among us puts the weakest in a chokehold — with a nod and a smirk for schadenfreude — for the tap out and to the cacophony of divisive cheers and jeers.

The spoils of diversity is hard-pressed due to the nuances of inequality and is quite harried, especially if its significance wasn’t implanted from early on. We can agree that it hasn’t been easy, nonetheless it is what made us, it is how we got to this point, it is what made history, and it is our truth. Furthermore, it is absolutely and unequivocally necessary to put forth the value-added elements of our diversity going forward and that it has continued to make us better not worse.

This is why I want to throw in my gratitude to President Barack Obama for the remarkable public service shown during his presidency. I believe that Obama has elevated the presidency with a decorum and leadership that has been enhanced, setting the bar higher in an increasingly complex and interconnected world with a style, a grace, a thoughtfulness, and with a fortitude towards evolutionary progress, especially for our America. We should not want to see that precedent diminished or degraded in any way that dampens the American spirit. But that seems to have been a foregone conclusion with the arrival of our president-elect who now carries an unprecedentedly low approval rating while coming into the presidency.

This seems to suggest that even some of that electoral college vote in support of President-elect Trump have reservations or may harbor some regret over their decision. Yeah, this isn’t a game, lives are at stake here. See also Affordable Care Act repeal. Again. This happened because y’all play too much.

Seriously, y’all do.

It appears the more that I write the better I perceive.