THE CULTURE OF CONTEMPT

Repetition Makes Lies Sound True

I am sick and tired of people on TV, in print and in videos telling me how divided we are. The line is, “After all is said and done…” oh, who are you trying to kid? It’s never all said and the B.S. is never done. So, let’s talk about our culture of contempt and see if you agree of disagree that we can or cannot agree.

I’ll start with common values. What are those? Did we never have them or are we so lame and stupid we cannot comprehend what they could possibly be? Okay, that is a contemptible statement, but even if true it’s still a way to show contempt. Not in the contempt of court sense, but more the everyday variety of contempt for a person. The definition of contempt is clear: the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn. Why is scorn such a major part of life these days?

Consider this phrase from a famous document, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” We know that human life can be detected by a pulse. Liberty is pretty much whatever floats our boat. Conflict happens when my neighbor is happy firing guns in his backyard at 11PM while this guy next door wants to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep isn’t the only thing on my happiness list.

I don’t like certain people who become powerful, run for political office, get elected and then tell me what should make me happy. Should I disagree, then I am accused of being a bad person. When I try to find shared values to keep open communication between us, I am told there are none. Okay, that’s a hell of a place to start.

I hear people say they would like things to go back to the way they were, but when exactly was that, the 1950s, 60s, 70s, or pre-Civil War? If you’re going to say “things used to be so much better when….” please fill in the blank. A democracy never stays the same, and it certainly cannot go back to the days where the government allowed factories to dump poisons in our rivers, endorsed cigarette smoking and persecuted Gays and African Americans, because, well, that’s the way we did things back then.

While the far-right lunatics are acting like spoiled children at board of education meetings across the country, not one of them can explain exactly what Critical Race Theory is. It’s like the child needing to have the light on because of the boogieman in the closet. When you cannot convince the child nothing’s there, you compromise and leave the light on. You might shut up the racist parent by promising not to teach C.R.T., but then you’re perpetrating the myth that our founder fathers looked the other way about slavery because they were “good guys.”

A major story in the Washington Post today lays out the truth. “More than 1,700 congressmen once enslaved Black people.” It’s too late to ignore the truth and for those who shudder when they hear the term “white privilege” or “Black Lives Matter,” I have one question. Have we gone too far? As much as you might hate the term “defund the police,” it inspired many communities to investigate their expenditures. In the small town of Fort Wayne, Indiana, a taxpayer might ask, “Do we really need a tank?” but that is only one question in a sea of disagreements in America. Black people get shot by cops more than white people, but research clearly shows that Black communities say they need cops.

Media spends much time drumming on about January 6th and Donald Trump. I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve it, but it’s keeping us from moving on. Had Congress convicted him during one of his two impeachment hearings, then voted he may never hold office again, the Republican party may have been motivated to clean up its act. However, that would not have changed anything regarding progress. Between two self-serving Democrats and the entire Republican party there is no desire to talk about common values. This is where we must start.

I would think clean water is a common value. I live in Florida and I won’t drink the water here. I recycle tons of plastic bottles every month because the water from the county is unsafe for drinking and cooking. Why aren’t those screaming lunatics at the school board meetings attending the public hearings on water? When fracking was being done in rural areas one could light tap water on fire. In cities like Flint, Michigan, children acquired mental health issues from drinking water the government said was safe. The governor of Michigan got away with harming kids in his state.

The culture of contempt is everywhere. A public servant who doesn’t testify before Congress, especially one who took a large paycheck bankrolled by us taxpayers, should be thrown in jail. It shouldn’t be done through a long court case where they get to spread lies to the public and not undergo an oath to force truthfulness. I have no respect when the presidential pardon is used for political purposes and I have no idea how to change it. My contempt for those who shun the law, get off scot-free and then make things worse is palpable.

When the lopsided media and social media constantly repeat that something is confusing, or that somehow January 6th wasn’t an insurrection, in many small minds that blather becomes the truth. And when misguided souls act on the that false news and repeated lies, what should we do? We can’t arrest everyone to set minds straight, but when our system arrests more than 700 people it’s working backwards. What we should be doing is finding the people who have promoted this contempt and make them admit publicly, over and over, that they were wrong. Make them become the focus point for the rath of their own mob. Boy, that would make great TV!

Ours is not a culture of contempt, it’s just a few assholes with too much power who lie and cheat and steal. Unlike Arab lands where one loses a hand when they steal, or a tongue when they lie, we are a civil land but slow to justice. I can see why so many people are lost in their own misconceptions. We need to bring forth change, and a good starting point would be teaching our kids a truthful history and not sugar coat those who have committed sins. God was always fast on the draw when it came to retribution, well, at least in the Old Testament. As for those of you who want to go back to the old days, be careful about what you ask. Those weren’t all good times.

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