Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Stages of ... what is this I'm feeling?

This tracks some of the emotional and intellectual roller coaster I've been riding the last couple of weeks.


via GIPHY

The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Denial was a long process for me. I think that stage started the second time Bush was elected. I disengaged in a fundamental way after a conversation with my Dad in which he gently suggested that Bush might win. And it was as if I was reliving that moment while watching the returns come in, in favor of DJT. I had to go to bed and bury my head in the pillows. (depression maybe?) But I've been doing that since Bush.

It was like when I came to the startling realization that people don't care about evidence. THAT was dumb-founding to me. How intellectually elitist of me to think that there was another way to operate in life that didn't call upon reasoning, weighing the evidence, asking "is that reasonable"? I'm serious about the intellectual elitist part. I do think less of people who don't use the scientific method, or who can be tricked into thinking something is real when it isn't. I really do think I'm better than them.

People actually thought - I mean ACTUALLY gave credence to the truthiness of the idea that the world was going to go straight to hell (figuratively, not literally) once Obama was elected. And despite all the evidence to the contrary assert that he was an ineffective president and that they were right all along. Contrast that with my pride and joy and gratitude and love for who I got to be as an American because Obama was my president. What did I care what those imbecilic, poorly raised, intentionally dim-witted, racist, grotesque anomalies thought? (ok, that might be anger) The world was moving forward and leaving them behind.

A lot of good that way of being does me in the current surreal reality tv reality. The links in the previous paragraph are URLs to google searches. On November 23, 2016 the "facts of obama presidency" search looked like this:

Who knows what this search will look like 6 months into a DJT presidency. The fake news wave surrounding this election, not to mention the "trusted" news networks that gave DJT so much free advertising through out the campaign have left all of us, intellectual elites and luddites both, suspicious of... well suspicious of everyone. And worse, gave legitimacy to the anti-intellectual.

Which leaves us in the beginning stages of a fascist regime in which it is quite possible historians will look back and say "why did they let this happen?". As an intellectual, I look at history, at what has gone before to inform me of when a tyrant appears - to be able to recognize it when it shows up. And we have, we did, we pointed it out, we called it by name. And it fell on deaf ears.

I find it odd that the anti-establishment vote is counting on the establishment to work well enough to withstand a take-over by an autocratic despot. I'm not so sure.

But...

What if I'm as deluded as those people who thought that the world was going to end with Obama's presidency? Hear me out for a second... I think I'm smart, I've got some evidence for it, but I didn't see this coming. We are all talking about our bubbles. After Bush, I said I would never be blind-sided like that again. Lotta good that did. Even the actions I took to ensure I had a broader view did nothing. I didn't know people thought it was the end of the world when Obama was elected. They weren't in my experience.

So what if? I have great respect for the fact that our brain gives us the world we interact in. And our context gives us how the world looks. If you alter your context, everything looks different. Altering your context is hard because it's invisible, you can't see the thing you see with. It's true for your eyes and it's true for your context. And if you look for evidence for that there is another context, you can find it. Again I say it's hard because no one wants to look for another context, another perspective so to speak.

There are people out in the US that are not terrified of a DJT presidency. It's weird, but they aren't. They are excited, thrilled even. That is a perspective that doesn't come easy to me, but I can easily see it in others. And if I don't just attribute it to their stupidity and ism-ness, what might I learn?

Here is what I know I don't know - I don't know anything about DJT - apparently he's written a book, The Art of the Deal, where he describes how he goes about winning. I've never read it. I've never watched his shows - which some people love. I'm not a business person - I'm a scientist, I leave business up to others who (to be honest I used to think couldn't cut it in science - I mean...why get a business degree??). There's an art and maybe even a science to business. I guess. I've never applied myself to it.

So given this is what we've got, I've got some schooling to do. I've started to read things that seem to indicate that DJT is just doing his thing - it's a way of getting what he wants and he's pretty good at that. There is evidence that people get trampled on his way to getting what he wants, and I must never lose vigilance about that. And stand for what I know is right. But I'm gonna go eat some crow - find another perspective and see if I can see what so many others are seeing.

'Cause what I have been doing hasn't made the difference I'm committed to making in this world.

4 comments:

Paul Heller said...

Yeah... I'm not seeing it, either.

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