When did America stop thinking

When did America stop thinking
Image: Yoshihuang/Under Creative Commons License

The Orlando mass murder is bringing out the worst in Americans. From politicians to the denizens of social media.

Before one family could mourn their loved soul, politicians of all stripes immediately politicized the incident. There was no empathy, sympathy, pity, or mercy. There was only the egomania that drives politicians to get their mugs in front of cameras and microphones.

Before the names of the victims were known, some journalists, columnists, editorial writers, and hacks at fringe media outlets were shouting from the rooftops.

Before the crime scene was secured and processed, social media, the new "man on the street," was alive with a viral infection of hate.

Before any facts were known Americans became experts with no expertise on gays, guns, God, and Islam.

Before any facts were known through today, people, the news media, politicians, and social media keep repeating the same talking points, memes, and other propaganda. Viral repetition of misinformation, disinformation, and outright lies.

Before all the facts were known through today, petitions are being generated to stop this or that and ban that or this. People, being silly geese, are flocking to sign.

Last, but not least, before all the facts were known through today, America displayed its real hatred and intolerance towards each other. In a call for love, hatred abounded. Hatred towards anyone who did not agree with another's narrow viewpoint.

In the supposed free market place of ideas, where intelligent people are supposed to debate, agree to disagree, and respect the opinions of others, no matter how far fetched, America shuts everyone down in a public shout fest. Loud, bombastic, brash, insane, and mostly ridiculous.

Being right, proving the other wrong, is more important than thinking like a rational human being.

A new civil war is brewing. A war of words, it is a series of battles against civility, critical thinking, and common intelligence. It is not a war of informed ideas. It is a war for hearts, minds, and morals.

It is a war to prove who or what group is right at the expense of free thought and choice. It is a propaganda war gone nuclear. It is a war to take away freedom, forcing people to all think alike. That is mindless slavery.

Conservatives are fighting liberals. Democrats are fighting Republicans. Right and left wing extremists are fighting each other. Intolerant religious zealots are battling the tolerant. Chaos rules the world of thought while people fight for the soul of America.

Since no one wants to be known as a hater, ist, phobic, or practitioner of ism or phobia, hatred is cloaked in righteousness. Smug, uninformed, group self-righteousness. The kind of smugness that treats rumor as fact, misinformation and disinformation as evidence, outright lies as truth.

The kind of smugness that whips people into frenzied action, forming proverbial lynch mobs. The frenzy that can lead to more violence.

When did America stop thinking?

When did we become a nation of followers instead of intelligent individual thinkers?

At what point in our history did Americans become flocks of dumb sheep waiting to be shorn or slaughtered?

How did we become so politicized that political thought, belief, and personal morals are on the verge of being mental illnesses?

America is an angry nation fighting each other. We are each other's enemy, at each other's throat, battling for who knows what, offended by everything, and ready to rumble.

Maybe it is time for each of us to reevaluate who and what we are. Put down the pens, stop tapping the keys, shut out the shrieking politicians, politicos, and various mumbling media.

We all hold beliefs that are dear to us. Beliefs and morals that define who and what we are or struggle to be. Those beliefs and morals do not make us right or wrong. We struggle to be good people.

It is time we demonstrated that.

You cannot be a tolerant person if you are intolerant to people who do not believe the same things you do. That is the ultimate hypocrisy. Being tolerant means accepting others for what and who they are or believe.

It does not mean group think. It is not about being right or wrong.

It is not about judging. If you are a true religious believer, than only God, or whatever you call him, her, or it, can judge.

You do not have to fight for your beliefs and morals. You only have to hold on to them and live your life accordingly. Being a tolerant person means allowing others to do the same.

You have no right to impose your beliefs, morals, or political thought on anyone else. That is tyranny.

It is time for America to start thinking again. Thinking is what separates humans from animals. People are not herds or flocks. We are individuals who choose to live among each other.

We should think about how we treat each other instead of trying to impose our wills upon each other. We should start thinking about how we can understand, accept, and live together in some kind of harmony.

We should stop trying to prove we are right, the other is wrong, and just accept the fact we are all different. That is true freedom and liberty.

No matter your beliefs, morals, religion, or politics, there is only one truth. One inescapable truth. It is born out by facts. It is proven by evidence throughout the ages.

It is never right or wrong. It just is.

We are all born and we are all going to die.

No one cares if you were right or wrong when you are dead.

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