Reading the headlines these days, it seems America is besieged by countless threats.
China, deficits, a broken educational system, there’s no shortage of monsters under our proverbial bed intent on doing us in. But lurking in the shadows, virtually unnoticed, is a cultural trend that has become so ensconced in our national dialogue that it borders on scientific law.
I’m referring to the refusal of politically passionate Americans to admit when they are wrong; whole sectors of American society now prefer to simply ignore the mountains of evidence contradicting claims they hold dear or, more commonly, to insult the messenger.
For proof look no further than social media. The comment sections of major publications are filled with vitriolic debates in which participants double down on their disproven assertions and viciously label their detractors as somehow deceitful for questioning a claim. Personal posts often evolve into all-out war.
Quotes and statistics are met with rebuttals of “Fox News” or “racist,” source-shaming and accusations of bigotry being the last refuge of the weak-minded (I myself have been accused of being a Russian bot no less than a thousand times).
Not so long ago ceding the point was considered the mark of a decent human being. But the times they have a’ changed, and these days decency sadly plays second fiddle to a dent in one’s pride or, more likely, one’s political perspective.
In America’s current hyperpartisan state, the thinking seems to be that so long as your cause is just, the truth is irrelevant.
Perhaps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put it best when she lamented that “… there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.”
“Lot” is a subjective term, but regardless of the actual number there is little doubt it’s a population in stark decline. And politicians and their co-conspirators in the mainstream media are doing the poaching.
Consider Candace Owens’ recent exchange with Representatives Ted Lieu and Jerry Nadler, in which the former purposely misrepresented Owens’ views on nationalism, after which the latter scolded her for courageously calling out Lieu’s deception.
As the footage clearly shows it was Owens who was factually correct, but because her morals contradict the modern left’s the two “gentlemen” representatives felt no need to acknowledge their disingenuity.
But what do we expect? After all, Lieu and Nadler are both members of the same Democrat cabal that assured us, for two years, that Robert Mueller’s report investigating foreign interference in the 2016 Presidential election would bring down the Trump administration. When it failed to do so Mueller’s former cheerleaders transformed, overnight, into naysayers.
They knew well that their minions in the media wouldn’t hold them accountable for their flip floppery, as they too were instrumental in the long con.
From MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to CNN’s Don Lemon, primetime talking heads insisted that perhaps the most thorough political investigation in American history, which they once championed, was somehow botched.
Despite stringing along the American people for ratings and pushing partisan propaganda as fact, there have been no major mea culpas. No apologies. No promises to do better. Just accusations of a cover-up and demands to see the full report, all of which resulted in more nothingburgers and yet more failure to admit their entire narrative was just a very sad, and very expensive, conspiracy theory.
In fact, the collusion investigation itself was almost certainly the product of Democrats’ refusal to admit they simply ran a poor candidate; rather than fess up to their own poor judgement, however, they went low and invented their Russian boogeyman.
Other examples abound. It took a $250 million lawsuit for the Washington Post to admit any wrongdoing in its coverage of the Covington High School kids. And despite skyrocketing premiums and fleeing insurers, some still feel the need to defend Obamacare.
If the media, and our leaders, drive opinions, as they clearly do, citizens need them to come clean when they are clearly wrong. But the partisanship of our pundits and politicians has justified a Machiavellian strategy adopted by millions of Americans in the name of justice.
To be fair, this isn’t just a liberal phenomenon. Even today some conservative pundits stand by the decision to invade Iraq which, while guided by bad intelligence, was a clear mistake in hindsight.
But liberals’ reliance on identity politics, and their hatred for the man who defeated their beloved Hillary, has disproportionately affected their ability to realize their own biases. Or, more importantly, to acknowledge them.
After all, we are a country built on the “marketplace of ideas,” in which all ideas are welcome but only the best win out.
But what is even the point of robust debate if half the population refuses to acknowledge the evidence that some ideas are indeed better than others? Or that some “facts,” no matter how strongly one wants them to be true, aren’t facts at all?
Being wrong occasionally is no sin; If there’s one thing we can surely all agree on, it’s that no one is infallible, and shouldn’t be expected to be.
You might think I’m being naive, and all of this is simply politics as usual. But the state of our discourse is such that families and friendships have been torn apart over online political arguments and pundits on both sides of the aisle are openly contemplating a Second Civil War.
If that’s “politics as usual,” we need to do better. It’s past time we cede the point to those who deserve it and make our discourse great again.
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