I spend much less time than I used to in “general population” Facebook, less time scrolling through my Timeline. Some of that is because of a migration to “groups”, smaller communities designed for actual discussion, some is due to a re-prioritization of my minimal moments with nothing more productive to be doing, and a lot of it is disillusionment. Since the election and its outcome more and more people seem to have become emboldened to share their opinions on all things societal and political, an irony that I recognize as I sit here and do exactly that.
Some of it’s my own fault. I refuse to unfriend anybody for reasons based on political or religious beliefs different from my own, no matter how tenuous my connection to them may be. I also purposefully follow and read sites and columns that I know advocate views antithetical to my own. Algorithms and partisan “news” media make it extremely easy to isolate oneself and never be exposed to opinion that doesn’t align with your own. I try and avoid falling into that habit.
Sometimes I’m disgusted by what I see. After the horrific suicide bombing earlier this week at a concert in Manchester, England there were some who felt that this was an example of karma, that twenty three year old pop singer Ariana Grande “got what was coming to her.” The young singer had openly supported the campaign of Hillary Clinton, attended January’s Women’s March, and two years ago was quoted out of context while joking that she “hated America” when presented with a tray of over sized fried donuts. Obviously this makes her a terrorist sympathizer who hopefully has now learned her lesson in the realities of the world. Excuse me while I go puke.
Less often are the times when I become absolutely fucking infuriated, as I did after coming across this bullshit:
I’ve never thought of myself as a liberal, preferring to cling to the belief that I am a centrist.
That doesn’t really matter, my beliefs besides the point. I’d be just as angry if I saw something from the left side blaming the President and his policies, anything that used this senseless tragedy to try and further an agenda or assign culpability. I not only pray that liberals never have to face anything like this happening to their children, I pray that conservatives, libertarians, socialists, progressives, tea partiers and Knights of Ren never have to.
The Middle East is a complicated place, known as one of the birthplaces of civilization but also as a cradle of conflict. A region almost constantly at war since the rise of Sumer and the Early Dynastic Period of 3000 BC. Sunni and Shiite battling for the soul of Islam since the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632. From The Persian Constitutional Revolution in 1905 and its attempts at modernization to the creation of Israel in 1948 to the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979, the last century nothing but shifting landscapes.
The Middle Eastern youth of today have known nothing but poverty and war. Their leaders promise them Paradise if they martyr themselves for ill defined causes and wars without borders, without care for who is targeted as long as it is done in the name of whatever group or ideology is being followed.
I don’t know what the answer is, or even if there is one. I know that only by working together, Democrat and Republican, with a combination of strategies, will we ever realize the goal that we all share – an end to the senseless violence and strategy. Being dicks to each other and using dead children to try and build a case for your side being “right” accomplishes nothing.