Like the Minority of US Voters, I’m Choosing The Blue Pill

Theoretically, one should never say never, but as my mind stands right now, this will likely be my final post loosely based on the lying liar that a minority of voters chose to ascend to the office of President of the United States – Donald J Trump.

It’s just my opinion, but most of those who voted for Trump took the blue pill on November 8.

They chose to ignore the fact that their country is changing in a way that is unstoppable.

They chose to ignore the fact that Trump lied over, and over, and over again.

They chose to ignore his demonstrable lack of character, even when it came from his own mouth.

They chose to ignore the truth about why people lost jobs in the rust belt, even though example #1 was likely playing a custom ringtone in their pockets.

They chose to ignore fiscal logic and kept complaining about the size of the deficit, even though Trump’s taxation and spending plans will blow the deficit out bigly.

They chose to ignore a million different indicators. I’m sick of listing them.

Trump proved himself to be the PT Barnum of the political world. I honestly don’t understand how people could know what they were voting for because his positions changed on nearly every issue throughout the campaign. Indeed, it’s now come out that those ‘positions’ weren’t really policies, they were just “starting points for negotiations”.

He was going to drain the swamp but he’s got Wall Street lining up to provide Treasury Secretary. And haven’t the banks loved it, by the way? Against all predictions (including mine), bank stocks have risen in the last two weeks and it’s said to be mostly down to Trump’s plans to water down banking rules. What could possibly go wrong? It’s like the GFC never happened. Snouts in, boys!!

To those few that I met who actually cited policy positions as their reasons for voting for Trump, I hope you get what you were after.

To the rest who just hated Hillary and/or trolled your support all the way to the ballot box – you own this. You own every dark corner of it. You own every peg of the ladder you fall down. You account for every dollar taken from a single mother and given to an heiress. You own every piece of racist, misogynist messaging. You own it because you saw the truth about this guy and said “screw it, I like him anyway”.

——

There are quite a few reasons why, against my own inner drivers and motivations, I’m going to abstain from inflicting you with my opinion on this car-crash presidency.

My job. I have the best job in the world and I don’t want to compromise it in any way for this nutcase. When I cover stuff, I tend to cover it obsessively. I can’t tell you how many hours a day went in to TS and SU. You wouldn’t believe me. I can’t do that again, for two main reasons.

1. The realistic awareness that nothing I say on this website is going to make a lick of difference. I’ve written persuasively and effectively on causes before and made a difference to those, but those campaigns were via sites that had an audience. This is just my own tiny personal corner of the internet and I know it doesn’t mean spit. The effort that would go into covering the Pussygrabber-in-chief in the way I think he should be covered wouldn’t be justified by the effect it would(n’t) have.

2. The amount of time that could be wasted correcting unadulterated bullshit from people I thought would be old enough to know better. I’ll write more on that in a moment.

I did receive a lot of private messages, emails, etc from people saying they appreciated the work I put into my couple of pre-election pieces and those messages were very encouraging and spirit lifting. Those people didn’t want to comment publicly, presumably because of the attacking nature of those who disagree with them.

I also got trolled a lot by ‘friends’ who turned out to be grandfather-aged trolls acting like 12-year-olds camped in their mother’s basement, spouting garbage from agenda-filled websites masquerading as news sites. That was bitterly disappointing. I can absolutely understand and respect people having a different point of view but the level of aggression combined with the craptastic nature of the sources they quote adds up to time-wasting of epic proportions for anyone who actually wants a fact-based, well-reasoned discussion.

I don’t have the time or the patience. And I have other things in my life that deserve the time that these fact-thieves would take.

——

On that note…..

I’m a steadfast believer in the nobility of truth-based journalism and soundly-backed opinion. Please, please, please buy subscriptions to your preferred newspaper. I don’t care if it’s a lefty paper or a Murdoch right-wing rag; it’s so important to support the work of actual journalists in this day and age.

Journalism, as a profession, has taken a massive kicking in the last few decades and it’s not completely undeserved.

The tabloids started the rot with the print version of clickbait many years ago. Now that we’ve entered the internet age and any goose with $50 can get a premium WordPress theme, it’s hard to tell a respectable source from a partisan one in visual terms UNLESS you read critically and across a number of well-sourced stories. And not many people do that in 2016.

The media took a massive kicking during the campaign but let me tell you, if Steve Bannon gets his wish and eliminates the fourth estate, it will be a sorry day for the United States. For the world.

What do dictators and invaders invariably take out first? The news services.

Journalism, at its best, is an accurate recording of history, taking note of the things that matter. Fearless journalism is the only way people have of knowing what’s going on with the government that controls the laws under which they live.

Yes, newspapers have their editorial leanings, which is why you should read from multiple sources and make up your own mind. Generally speaking, though, the good ones will criticise both sides of the aisle. Remember, it was the New York Times that broke the story about Hillary Clinton’s email server.

If your candidate is getting a lot of negative press, that’s not necessarily newspaper bias. It could be that your candidate is being a dick.

Support the press. Recognise untruth where you see it and support the good work that dedicated journalists do. Read widely. Buy subscriptions. Read things from respectable sources that you don’t agree with, if only to better hone your own point of view. But don’t support rubbish.

The reason rubbish exists? To whip you up, keep you coming back and most of all, to earn money. Like the guy who’s sad about BS websites being targeted from search results because he makes $10K a month writing BS stories for them.

——

This little website exists so that I can keep writing about things that interest me. Things that matter to me. Many of the issues that a Trump presidency will raise are things that matter, but they’ll be better covered elsewhere by better people.

Part of me wants to step into this fight but my life’s at a reasonably fragile point right now and I need to preserve that which is good. I need to grow it. I don’t want the negativity that this fight would spark inside of me, either. I don’t like writing some of the things that I’ve written in this post. I don’t like thinking less of friends, much less losing them.

The cause is noble and I will undoubtedly stay interested, but not embroiled.

So in my own way, I’m taking the blue pill, too. I’m choosing to leave the indignity of a Trump presidency be. I’m choosing to let others deal with that, others who are much better placed and much more articulate than I am, while I cheer from the sidelines. I choose to go back to my own world and grow that, instead.

——

EPILOGUE

I know this sounds a lot loftier than it should. I’m just some speck in the corner of the web, after all.

It just felt important to me to sign off on this episode somehow. It’s opened up some wounds and killed off some (tenuous) friendships. It feels important to acknowledge that and let it go.

The soapbox is back in the cupboard……. for now.

You may also like