by Paul Moomjean
We still have over a month left in this Hot Vax Summer, and America is about to start another civil war. As record heat highs plague parts of the country not used to anything beyond cold, cloudy weather and recall election drama fill the California political air. We are seeing a bombardment of national fights ranging from mask and vaccine mandates to police officers being mocked for their role in the Jan. 6 insurrection to flight attendants complaining about awful patrons. As President Joe Biden attempts to restore and calm the nation, he is limited by his own energy levels and the fact that 75 million Americans still don’t believe he won the election. While everything looks bleak, one thing that should remain in focus is that this is what the media wants; and if there is a solution, it just might be to do what Timothy Leary told us in 1966: turn on, tune in, drop out.
Right now in both the political and private sector landscapes we are watching utter turmoil. Nothing is off the table, and political prisms rule all points of view. Take the Jan. 6 insurrection as an example. Had democrats ran up those stairs, republicans and conservative talking-head media personalities would have called them traitors. Instead, the right is mocking the police officers describing the horrifying events. In fact, the right sounds like its cult leader, former President Donald Trump.
The Daily Beast reports, “In private discussions this summer, Trump has told some people close to him that several of these officers strike him as weak and as ‘pussies,’ according to two sources familiar with the comments and who described them independently.”
It’s this type of rhetoric and philosophy we all feared. In fact, it’s because of four years of lies and bully pulpit tactics that Trump’s followers are ready for another go around, despite the prison time being dished out to those “patriots” who killed people because their candidate lost.
The Hill just reported that “about 47 percent of Republicans believe that a time will come when ‘patriotic Americans have to take the law into their own hands,’ according to a George Washington University poll on Americans’ faith in election systems and democratic values.”
The last few weeks I’ve addressed the craziness of white evangelical conservatives. This group of people who never read their Bible but claim they want the country to run with it as the new constitution are going to eventually turn this country into a war zone. That is inevitable. With guys like Tucker Carlson crying that the National Security Agency is spying on him and taking away freedoms, everyday Americans feel the need to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Their desire to wreak havoc only proves that their church attendance isn’t doing it . . . if they ever went.
Meanwhile in the private sector, Axios released a study showing that “more than 85% of 5,000 flight attendants surveyed between June 25 and July 14 said that they’ve had to deal with unruly passengers this year.” They cited mask mandates, drunken behavior and wanting to urinate while seatbelts are required as part of the struggles. The antagonism created by the media is bleeding into all areas of daily life. Everything is a battle. Everyone is a solider in this “war on freedom,” and there are no leaders able to put out the flames, only fan them.
Almost all of this is because the mainstream media continues to showcase and analyze our daily lives as if they were sporting events. Never forget that Fox News and MSNBC don’t care about you. They are TV shows. Half of the episodes are scripted. And TV has one job — to get ratings! So Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity will tell you your freedoms are fleeing, but to tune in tomorrow to learn how to save them. Rachel Maddow and Don Lemon will argue every conservative is a nut job wacko, but then not remind us that Mitt Romney and George Will want nothing to do with Trump’s wing of the party. TV wants to make you laugh, cry and scream, just not always in that order. I know. I worked in both scripted and reality television. It’s all a scam to get you to watch and buy cereal and diabetes pills.
So I suggest you take a break from all the negativity. Because if you watched less news and more Ted Lasso, you just might think the world is worth saving instead of burning.