Nuggets of Wisdom

Friday, July 22, 2016

Election 2016 And The Post-Factual Democracy


Do I need to comment on Trump's speech last night? Seriously? Do I? If you want a dissertation on his speech, then by all means, read Politifact. Because they did a good enough job of highlighting all his half truths and lies.

I didn't even watch his speech. Why should I? I already know what his schtick is at this point: illegals are "terking ur jerbs". Criminal thugs are shooting down innocent people and cops. And ISIS is out to destroy us all unless we vote for Big Daddy Trump to protect us.

Never mind that more Hispanics have left the country than have illegally entered it. Never mind that violent crime is at an all-time low, especially against cops. And never mind that you're more likely to be killed by a cop then buy a terrorist.

No. Seriously. Never mind all that. Because none of it matters. It obviously doesn't matter to Trump, and it certainly doesn't matter to his followers.

And the same thing can be said about Hillary and her followers. We're going to see the same thing from her come the DNC. She's going to give an equally facetious speech that's nothing more than the talking points and empty platitudes she's been parroting throughout her campaign: We need to reign in the big banks. We need to put an end to war. And we need to establish single-payer healthcare.

Never mind that she's being financed by the exact same big banks she's been railing against. Never mind that she voted for the Iraq War. And never mind that she has recently done a 180 degree turn on single-payer healthcare after being funded by the insurance lobby. The facts matter to her and her followers as much as they matter to Trump and his, which is to say they don't. The facts are irrelevant!

Neither Trump nor Hillary can say anything that will sway their followers to reconsider their vote, and both have proven as much. Trump said he could shoot a person and people would still vote for him. Hillary promised to reveal the secrets of Area 51 if people voted for her. In any sane and rational reality, both candidates would've lost votes due to espousing such insanity. And yet they both remain the forerunners of this election: the election of the post-factual democracy!

This is why I'm growing tired of discussing politics. Not only is it the exact same series of trite talking points, but it is the exact same talking points that are easily disproven; and yet regardless of what I or anyone else writes about those two charlatans, people are still going to vote for them in droves.

Why? Because Trump isn’t Hillary and Hillary isn't Trump. And as long as one is considered to be the "lesser of two evils", low-information voters--or the politically correct term for "idiots"--are going to vote for them, facts be damned. Our team may be bad, but their team is worse, so root for the home team. Who cares if they cheat? When everyone is a cheater, cheating is no longer a vice. It's simply a winning strategy!

This truly is a post-factual democracy. In no other point in time has information been so easily available to the general public at their very fingertips, and yet the general public simply isn't interested in "information" unless it confirms their pre-existing beliefs. In such an age of information, ignorance is a choice. For many individuals, it’s a safe choice to make, but for the rest of us who have to endure their ignorance, especially when they vote, it’s nothing short of dangerous.

At this point, I should offer a potential solution to this whole mess. But as I explained earlier, there is very little I can do. Even now, I'm simply propagating my own echo chamber. Anything I say that you all agree with, you all probably already agreed with; and anything I say that you all don't agree with, you all will simply dismiss. Unless we all take our time to step outside our echo chambers and try to entertain a different point of view, none of us will be closer to becoming better informed. Then again, that's what most of us choose to be.