Feb. 11th, 2017

jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
This morning I read an entry on the FB that a friend had commented on (I know, I know...that way lies madness) and let's just say it was quite a willingly ignorant and privileged rant. Short version distilled to 'Trump is our President now, deal with it' followed by deciding he's going to go on a mass blocking/defriending spree because he's sick of reading about all the whining.

It was written by someone from my podunk town (he's living in The Big City now, not that it makes a difference) who I suppose means well, but let's face it -- he's a townie who I'm sure would be hanging out with his buddies at the Gas n' Sip on a Friday night because it's a conscious choice. Someone who's full of misguided opinions disguised as TRUTH because he read something somewhere and reacted with 'YEAH! What HE said!' and left it at that.

Not sure if he's one who would call himself Deplorable like it was a badge to be proud of (I never quite got that -- why would someone willingly want to have an online presence that tells all and sundry, "Hi! I'm an Asshole!"?), but it would not surprise me if he'd at least entertained the idea.

I briefly -- very briefly -- entertained the idea of calling him out on it, but I'm sure all he would do is lol his ass off and block me. And besides, I've got more important things to do.

I used to get frustrated at people like this, but now I just feel kind of sorry for them.

There's two kinds of ignorance out there. There's simple ignorance: when one doesn't know any better, when one wasn't made aware of the larger picture. Then there's willing ignorance: when one refuses to know any better, when one sees the larger picture and decides it's not for them. A lot of people start out with the first kind but learn from experience and move on. But there are those who graduate to the second kind and stay there, because it's easier and more comforting.

I used to be the same way, back in the day. I won't ignore my podunk roots. But this has nothing to do with growing up in a small town, nor is that an excuse for deciding to continue to be willingly ignorant. I learned early on that there's a bigger world out there, and I embraced it. [Yes, I will also admit to making wrong turns along the way, but again -- I learned from it and moved on.]

Do I think I'm better than these people because I think they're wrong-headed and willingly blind? Well, no. We are who we are, and we're not a hundred percent one or the other. I feel bad for them because they're closing their eyes to something that can and often will affect them at some point.

It's a mindset that I've never quite understood, but I see it all sorts of places -- in people, in business, in politics. It's the refusal to budge and be proven wrong. Because being wrong means you're weak. And you can't have that. So you dig in, and dig in, and dig in, utterly convinced that you're right and everyone else is wrong, and you'll prove that you'll win the day.

Well, sadly, logic and Real Life usually has other plans, and it never ends well.

I especially have issues with this type of thinking when it comes to big-P Patriotism. For a number of years I never quite understood what "patriotism" meant, because I always felt it was sold as wide-eyed reverence for the flag, unquestioning idolatry of the military, and an overly simplistic view of the Constitution. It felt so...surface to me, to put a word to it. It felt like one of those 80s Rambo movies. It wasn't until these last few weeks that I finally found my own meaning for that word, witnessing the overwhelming frustration and reaction to Trump's terribly misguided executive orders. The immediate response was strong, and it was visceral. Lawyers heading to airports of their own volition to take care of foreign travelers. Millions of people marching in major cities and even small towns all over the country because they were pissed off (I am proud to say I was one of them). Circuit courts shooting down the travel ban order. Sanctuary cities stating they weren't going to play along. The ACLU jumping in on Day One -- Minute One, to be honest -- saying they had our backs...and then receiving the highest amount of donations they've ever had as a group.

THAT, I realized, was patriotism to me. Not this feel-good flagwaving crap, but the immediate action response of watching over everyone, whoever they may be, without question.

Am I Elitist for thinking this way? Go ahead and call me that if you must, I don't mind. All I'm trying to do is let you know there's a Bigger Picture out there that you're willingly ignoring for whatever reason. If that bothers you so much that you refuse to see situations from someone else's point of view, well...that's on you, dude. All I'm saying is that you're making yourself look like a shallow jackass.

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