Looking over events of the last few decades, and the trends that have led to our current political state, one conclusion is clear: too many Americans treat the Presidency as a golden calf, and its power as an object of idol worship.
The artificial realm of social media overwhelmingly requires performative supplication to one worldly partisan conformity cult or the other. Independent and critical thinking is verboten. Herd mentality, and virtue signaling toward the popularity cliques, reign. It is a giant, digital online version of the cool kids’ lunch tables in middle school, and no less immature nor petty. Its mantra distills to the words Geddy Lee sang in Subdivisions: “Be cool or be cast out…”
The unquestioning supine positions taken by so many highly educated and otherwise decent people among my friends and acquaintances, toward the political duopoly’s false dichotomy, and demands for conformity thereto in order to fit in and be hip with the crowd, reveal the great lie. That calf is fool’s gold.
Online, I now often see holders of scientific PhDs turn into gullible, emotion-steered suckers for a sob story at the drop of a hat, all too easily inflamed and manipulated by the by the latest breathlessly hyped headline about some “injustice” or another (often turning out weeks to months later to be misleading, false-flag, or just plain false). Psyops work for reasons, and not just on the “dummies”. Eschewing critical thinking, cooly analytic logic and emotionally detached reasoning skills that were God-given congenital, cognitive capacities, and at one time, useful in acquiring those educational credentials…otherwise smart people become easily played fools for the latest provocative headline.
This is where street smarts, and the related ability to see right through manipulative BS, help. That ability frequently evades, or is woefully undeveloped, in those with sheltered, protected, privileged upbringings that led them to ivory-tower success but cluelessness regarding the workings of the world, eloquent and talented in their narrow specialties but blissfully ignorant of reality on the streets. The easy path: follow the outrage herd. Collect likes. Bathe in the comfortable warmth of approving attaboys from sycophants in the comments and replies.
The harder but truer path: question the outrage-mentality dogma, think for yourself, understand candidates and issues factually and with cool-headed rationality, and map out your votes carefully up and down that ballot.
But don’t think selfishly. I often have seen some of those same educated peers complain about a group of voters voting “against their own interests”. First off, who are you to judge their self-interests? Second, and more importantly, voting should not be about what’s best for oneself, but what’s best for the country. Voting against one’s own interests can be admirable, and the right thing to do! But too few see outside that obnoxiously small bubble of “What’s in it for me?” when voting.
As a result, we get what we’ve got. What we’ve got is a sociopolitical train wreck of chaos, discord and hateful division. Divide and conquer: it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book.
And so the golden calf is pleasured, whomever may occupy its role, by whatever partisan label.
This is not a plea for detachment, which is a cowardly cop-out—but instead, for critical and independent thought, and even more importantly, for a call to a higher authority than oneself over the decisions involved. No person perfect. No human is omnipotent. So after applying those God-given reasoning skills, don’t stop there. Dial up some wisdom and clarity from above, then listen.
Pray over your vote. Vote your conscience in prayerful reflection, not what other flawed and biased humans demand of you. Your friends, relatives, and co-workers are not in that (real or home-based) voting booth with you. God is! Remember this.
What goes on that ballot, in that moment, is known only to you, and far more importantly, to God. Vote accordingly.
This is a nonpartisan statement.