Let them fester and drown in their own cesspool of cultish crap

Let them fester and drown in their own cesspool of cultish crap


From the “you cannot make this stuff up” department:

According to a Yahoo news poll recently 50% of the people that rely mostly on Fox News for their news believe that Bill Gates is pursuing a Covid-19 vaccine only so the world’s population can be tracked by MicroSoft Corporation.

https://news.yahoo.com/new-yahoo-news-you-gov-poll-shows-coronavirus-conspiracy-theories-spreading-on-the-right-may-hamper-vaccine-efforts-152843610.html

Think about it. Let this sink in.

This is not a fringe group. This is not a small segment of Americans. This is a very large number of US citizens, many who vote.

(What is even more insane is that 37% of the people that voted for Hillary Clinton believe this to be true or are not sure. 75% of the Fox News watchers fall into this category.)

These good folks have chosen to not believe science. These good folks have chosen to disregard the advancement in critical thinking and scientific discoveries of the last centuries. Think flat-earthers. Think moon landing deniers. Think witch burnings fanatics. Think gravity doubters.

These good folks have chosen to get the information that molds their beliefs and forms their opinion from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones, and a perverse version of Christianity that justifies their bigoted mindsets.

Self-censorship at its very worst.

In most totalitarian governments where State imposed censorship exists people yearn for alternative information sources. In these societies people go out of their way to find fresh source of news. But under the self-censorship of the Cult of Trump  it is a personal choice to believe only a certain fountain of information. Under that self-censorship it is a personal choice to disregard information from any source other than their chosen sources as suspect and untrue. Forget NPR, YahooNews, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the BBC. All suspects; all fake news, these cultish Trumpistas will tell you.

How do you get through to these people? The short answer is you don’t. You let them fester and drown in their own cesspool of cultish crap.

And then you focus on reaching out to the people of good will that are still discerning if they are going to vote and who they are going to vote for.

There are millions of these people of good will that are willing to listen to sensible conversations and reasonable arguments. Reach out to them. And you focus on your friends that are committed to voting, making extra super-duper sure they commit to you personally to go vote no matter what.

If by chance one of these cult members approaches you and engages in an authentic conversation, by all means be there for him or her! Listen carefully and try to understand why they fell into the dilution of their cult. Pray for them if that is your thing to do. Embrace them with a virtual hug in these times of Covid. And empathetically welcome them to a world of diverse opinions where we may disagree greatly and still hold certain truths to be self-evident… And offer them a ride to the polls November 3rd – or offer to take them so they can put their mail-in ballot in the official drop box.

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The craziness continues. No end in sight. Until Nov 3rd.

The craziness continues. No end in sight. Until Nov 3rd.

It has been only four weeks since the last posting and the world has changed so much. Who would have imagined that this pandemic would twist and turn like a slow hurricane that refuses to go away? Who could have guessed the rabid, raging, irrational, partisan response from this Administration? (Well, actually, we all could have probably guessed that.)

Instead of empathetically reaching out to the hurt, Trump has opted to ‘damn the torpedoes’ and irresponsibly focus exclusively on the short-term goals of immediate profit for some – and enhancing his chances for re-election.

Forget earlier guidelines. Forget whatever the scientists say. Forget what hurting America wants to hear. Instead, he has exclusively focused on his on ‘base and his economic cronies. Instead he has – as he always does – deflected deflected deflected, firing anyone who does not think like him, blaming Obama, trashing Biden.

For the historical record, Trump’s Mother’s Day Tweet said it all:  ”HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!” That’s it. Nada mas. No ‘I feel your pain’; no ‘thinking about you’; no ‘we are in this together’. Just a cheap 99 cents card. Awful. This man has no sentiments. No feelings. No empathy.

What this pandemic has brought to light is not only the gross incompetence of Trump, his mismanagement of government, and his inept leadership capacity.

This pandemic has also brought to light a much bigger issue that goes well beyond Trump.

Running the risk of getting overly philosophical/theological, it is high times we decouple the basic human needs for shelter, health, and nutrition from the profit motive.

In my conversation with a trusted scientist that does quite a bit of work in Africa as we speak, she tells me that weeks ago the thought was that this was just another pandemic. The thought was that cholera, malaria, HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, war, and natural disasters kill a lot more people than COVID-19 ever will. That line of thinking is changing. Daily. The number of deaths brought by COVID-19 in Africa will be devastating. But – and you have to be careful how you say this – the resiliency of the people in that continent runs deep. COVID-19’s impact will be very different in low resource countries vs the ‘first world’ countries.

In the U.S. the current debate is simple: Are we willing to accept 120,000 deaths a year from COVID-19? After all, we accept a similar number of deaths every year from car accidents, gun shots, and drug overdose. One line of thinking – which is crass, but valid – is that “why should we all suffer when the chances dying from COVID-19 is tiny, particularly if you are part of the vast majority of Americans who is relatively healthy and part of the economic system?” The ‘American Way’ is used to accepting a high degree of poverty among those that “don’t look like the rest of us”. And, accepting high number of deaths in prisons, nursing homes, homeless shelters, meat-packing plants, immigrant camps, and in low income communities of color in high density neighborhoods is “no big deal”. (All quotes in this paragraph come for some of my Facebook ‘friends’. Ugh.)

In our County we have the opportunity to do it differently. And we have the right leadership for  this moment. Glad to be part of this team doing real work at a hyper-local level while the craziness at the national level goes amuck.

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