Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Society broken

I recently read the following in a news report: “Elected officials are also turning book banning into another wedge issue in the culture wars.”

The word “war” gets diluted by being used for situations that are not a war. The “cola wars” or local “gas wars” are examples.
I do wonder why some people appear ready to fight in these culture wars. I met a man who was about 5 years older than me at a neighbor's house last weekend. It didn’t take long for him to start his recruiting talk for his side of the culture war. I had mentioned having visited Arizona just before the pandemic. He threw out some negative comments about immigrants in Arizona. I can’t imagine that’s the only thing he could say about Arizona. I suggested we talk about less political things. I recall saying, “while I don’t know much about flowers I would rather talk about the nice flowers here.” We eventually left the war behind in our conversation.

Was my reaction different because he was on the other side than me in this so-called war? Maybe I would have joined in by criticizing the former Liar-in-Chief if his comment had matched my view.

War is not the answer. The culture war is not a real war but promoting it does agitate people and can result in tragic events such as the Jan. 6 2021 attack on Congress.
NBC news reported a scary story of how militia groups are using local emergencies in California to recruit people and get good PR. The NBC story's link.

What a change from 20 years ago. Post 9/11/2001, (from https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2021/09/02/two-decades-later-the-enduring-legacy-of-9-11/)

“..the public largely set aside political differences and rallied in support of the nation’s major institutions, as well as its political leadership. In October 2001, 60% of adults expressed trust in the federal government – a level not reached in the previous three decades, nor approached in the two decades since then.”

I’m not saying we should remain quiet about what we see as wrong. We should dial down the anger. Peacefully demonstrate. Let's try to have a civil discussion.

I chose to avoid engaging with this culture warrior. I’m glad I didn’t bother to confront a guy with views I considered extreme rightwing. I’m fairly certain he picked up that our views differed. We don’t need to shout. I might mention him to my neighbor in the future because I’ve known my neighbor for many years. He is not a warrior. However he might have different views than me. I don’t recall ever talking politics with him.
Take a deep breath, feel like I’m chokin’ 
Everything is broken.

 Ok, not everything is broken. But there are too many things broken.
A real deadly war is going on as I write this. I suspect most Ukrainians would not call our cultural issues a war.  

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