Friday, October 5, 2018

Day 3207

There is no truth anymore. It's gone. All we have left are carefully constructed narratives. Keep in mind that a narrative is just a story. I say this as a person who has spent most of his adult life constructing narratives. I'm an advertising writer. There's a good chance that I might have convinced you to buy something you didn't really need. I might of even convinced you to believe a lie. That'a what a narrative is meant to do. It's really not that hard to influence someone when you can engage their emotions.

This is why I'm deeply distrustful of politics. Politicians have become addicted to narratives, mostly because they are much more effective than looking at things objectively. I have to give the Democrats credit. They are great at creating a good narrative. The threat from Russia is genius. Not a day goes by without hearing about Russian meddling. Hmm. I can't recall the Democrats caring about Russia one way or the other since the days of John Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Democrats knew that there were still a few old school Russia Hawks in the Republican Party though, and if they could peel away a couple of them, their opponents might lose their slim majority and legislation could be blocked. It worked. Warhawks like John McCain became allies instead of adversaries and it was McCain who ended up casting the critical vote to save Obamacare.

The Republicans seem to like narratives as well. The need for a border wall is a narrative calculated to appeal to people's emotions. If you really want to stop people from crossing a border, a wall probably isn't the most effective way to do things. A wall is basically useless, but it is a powerful symbol. It got a president elected.

I wish that politicians didn't feel the need to create stories that are meant to fan the flames of human emotion. We are already a divided country and these narratives are just making a bad situation worse. A narrative that is gaining traction now is the idea that under certain circumstances it is perfectly OK to say that someone is guilty until they can prove their innocence. It doesn't seem to bother the people who created this narrative that this is exactly what happened during the Salem Witch Trials. They knew that when you combine a huge voting block with an explosively emotional issue and stir vigorously, you have a witches brew that just might provide you with the kryptonite you need.

I find it a bit distressing that many of my friends seem all too willing to burn the witch. When you abandon due process and have politicians who actively condone mob rule under the guise of resistance, all is lost. What ever happened to the preponderance of evidence standards that have guided our judicial system for so many years? Have we really returned to the McCarthy era or the dark days of the Salem Witch Trials? I thought about these things as Dash and I walked by the pathetic little circus that seems to be still taking place in the park. That's what we've got right now in this country: a pathetic circus.

Lightning is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day