Last night on Twitter I posted the comment, “Once you realize the astonishing amount of bull**** which is believed by massive majorities, Clinton vs Trump makes sense” (though on Twitter, as it is a crude place, I didn’t use “****”) and it got a fairly high response for a Tweet by a guy with around 500 followers – 13 likes and 5 retweets. My follow-up Tweet, however, didn’t get any response, at all: “A lot of ‘likes’ for my Tweet about the amount of BS believed. Now, ask me what is BS so I can piss all you off, one by one”.
I can only assume I had no takers because people were a little wary of responding – which leads me to believe that what is BS is, for a lot of people, entirely subjective. People liked having it generally confirmed that everything is messed up because a lot of BS is believed, but weren’t quite ready to have their own beliefs examined under the BS-Detector.
Just how much of a BS detector I want to put out here is based upon just how mad I want to get every last person who reads this; because if I were to list all the BS, then it is bound to offend everyone at some point (and that is leaving aside The Issue Which Shall Not Be Named). But, for now, I immediately call to mind a time when I was effectively banned (actually, put on “audit” where my comments would be reviewed before being published) at a Catholic, Conservative website. Yep, Catholic, Conservative me so angered fellow Catholic Conservatives that I was banned. How? Well, in an historical discussion, I brought up the point that the French Revolution, at bottom, was set in motion because a collection of Bankers figured the only way they could collect on their government bonds (the royal government being de-facto bankrupt) was if the government would confiscate the wealth of the Church…which event would not happen as long as deeply Catholic Louis XVI was in charge.
This assertion just infuriated the guy running the blog – and I can only imagine it did so because he had a conviction that the fundamental reason for the French Revolution was a genuine aspiration on the part of the overwhelming mass of the French people for a Republic. I think the revolt in the Vendee kind of indicated otherwise – even without (I think it was Robespierre who said it) the understanding of the Revolutionary government that a free and fair vote of the people would amount to a recall of the Monarchy. At the end of the day, the Monarchy fell not because of a desire for a Republic, but because the Monarch ordered his troops to stand down when a howling mob of thugs assaulted his palace. A “whiff of the grape” at that time would have worked just as effectively as it did when Napoleon, commanded by the Revolutionary leaders allegedly in favor of liberty, equality and fraternity, blasted heck out a similar mob a few years later.
To me, it illustrated the habit people have of simply confirming their own biases. If there’s something a person disagrees with, they’ll look for reasons to support their disagreement even if it means ignoring evidence that it isn’t, perhaps, disagreeable. So, too, will people find reasons to support what they like, even if evidence exists that perhaps it isn’t so good. As for me, I can only figure that I’ve been lucky – over the past 10 to 15 years, I have come to appreciate that as everything is run by human beings who are Fallen from grace, even the best has some bad in it and even the worst can be explained. I’ve also come to understand that no person – or group of persons – is irredeemable. The worst rat you can think of can still be saved – but, also, the most angelic person can still err.
As it relates to right now, I think this is why I am just not all that upset about Trump – nor about the likely result of a Hillary Presidency that Trump represents. Not for me getting out there and being all fanatic #NeverTrump all day long. What is the point? Trump is a man who is doing things – as such, of course he’s doing some things wrong. It can’t be otherwise. Voting for Trump doesn’t make you either wicked or a fool, nor does voting against Trump garner you any virtue (and ditto with Hillary). Even if we had got our dream candidate, we’d still all be voting for a flawed human being who would make all sorts of mistakes. Naturally, I’d prefer if my choices in November were different from what they’re going to be, but these are the choices I’ll have and I’ll just have to make the best of it and pray that things come out as well as possible.
It is always good to keep in mind our own inability – no matter how smart or knowledgeable any of us are, there is still a vast amount we don’t know, and we’re not nearly as smart as we think we are. Herman Khan was a certified genius – yet the man routinely got lost going between his house and his office. The best course of action I can suggest is that when either pleased or angered by something, think it over a bit before you react. You’re first reaction is probably wrong – or, if not flat wrong, didn’t take into consideration all (or even most) of the factors involved. Curb your bias! Think a bit. Keep silent for a long while, if possible – the words you never write or say are words you never have to take back! Also, of course, if you write or say something you’re very likely to dig in and keep defending yourself, even when you’ve been proven a fool…better to not have to defend folly, you know?