Our once relatively quiet world has become deafening with all kinds of inanity the past few years, and especially in recent times. One of the oft overlooked problems of major concern is that of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Although many of the symptoms began before the man even took office, in the wake of his inauguration it came into full effect as family cut family, friends cut friends, and echo chambers became uproariously populous.
Truly, an unfortunate outcome of this is an inability to accept political differences, and it seems largely due to misunderstanding; a disconnect from the world where we have the first ever openly pro-LGBT candidate to take office. Even Barack Obama didn’t run on that platform. Yet at the same time, people are fearful this man is the next man with silly hair to threaten the entire world? Hardly. The man is far from perfect (in fact it seems he took a wrong turn at Albuquerque on the way), but he is also not the devil incarnate.
Further confusing rational actors is the belief that Trump is secretly plotting to be an authoritarian tyrant, yet is also woefully incompetent and unable to do anything, right? There is a level of mutual exclusivity that must be applied to these kinds of prescriptions, especially since in this case the dichotomy proves to be entirely contrary to itself. Even now, there are some who would say he has the reigns to absolute power, and yet is somehow too ignorant to see it or take advantage of the opportunity? That he’s an “authoritarian weakman”? Such a claim is illogical, as is further elaborated on by Matt Christiansen in this video:
Digressions aside, I am certain anyone right of Stalin has felt the impact of this judgment from people once thought to be trusted and cherished. Countless examples exist, my own included, of left-leaning friends/family cutting ties, of holding simple opinions others just couldn’t seem to fathom as acceptable. It can be difficult, but fret not, as such can be remedied by the healing factor of time. Even in my case, a relative reached out to me and is in touch with me now, and even moved on some issues for personal safety.
Patience, steadiness, and pragmatic argument are your best allies even with people who might seem past the point of recovering the relationship with. However, on the internet things can be entirely different. Beyond the Facebook friends list, other areas of the internet see this problem arise, and often times it comes out from echo chambers.
Bastions of isolated thought, these digital communities are powered by their views, their discontent, and the block button. In regard to that last one, some have even resorted to block bots to maintain their protective bubbles. The result is an extremely toxic place that breeds isolated viewpoints, ones which aren’t challenged and all outside actors are simply “trolls” or “Nazis”. Unfortunately, the only medicine for this is the same treatment, as only over time, and only by slow exposure to new insight can people change their ideas. Just ask Daryl Davis.
The biggest obstacle we face as a society in all this is the fallout of such wanton emotional behavior resulting in policy and activity at the legislative level bereft of reason and catering instead to the fervor. No better example exists than the fruitless impeachment activities of the Democrats, which did nothing more than waste time that could have otherwise been used to deal with other matters at hand.
It is at the point where a libertarian needs to tell politicians how to not waste time and do nothing with their power, and if that isn’t concerning then what is? Frankly, it’s a shame when you consider the importance of the time wasted that could have been used to tackle the current pandemic. Our tax dollars were wasted on a partisan attempt at targeting the fulcrum of their voter base’s ire. Of course, now that ire has shifted to those who tried to pass the buck.
The answer is and always will be the same — taking it on the chin and moving on is the healthiest countermeasure to such unfortunate circumstances. The reality is that extreme emotional response to politics or social movements is nothing new, and so long as people have misunderstandings, they may very well continue to fight. For more on this, and on how this kind of mindset forms and alters, check out Dr. Karlyn Borysenko for more discourse on the matter.