I thought that I would spend some time listening to the other side today, and I decided to take it hard right. I mean, HARD RIGHT. I’ve been watching John Oliver and others, so why not take it the other direction? I was at school, trying to organize my classroom, and so I put Alex Jones on the computer.
Guys, I was mortified.
The stuff that this guy was saying… the incredibly dangerous rhetoric he was pushing… it literally made my skin crawl.
And understand, I am a child of The Right. I was raised in the evangelical Christian culture, I listened to Rush well into my 20’s, before I moved overseas. I was anti-Democrat, anti-Clinton, anti-liberal… everything.
But the kind of dangerous and wildly incendiary nonsense I heard Jones espousing today… it’s just so incredibly wrong, and so incredibly un-American. It’s meant to divide and to damage and to entrench.
So I pulled back. I moderated. I put Rush on. I haven’t listened to Rush in years, but I wanted to hear what he had to say.
And it was much more moderated. Much less incendiary. But still just as divisive and partisan and reactionary. It was more subtle, more entertaining, less nauseating.
And that makes it even more dangerous.
At one point, Rush blamed Obama for the lack of preparedness for the outbreak. In 2020. Literally years after Trump had taken office. It’s Obama’s fault that we weren’t prepared for an outbreak that happened years after he left office? Seriously?
And I realized that the whole system is frakked. Everything. The politics, the parties, the purposeful separation of us all… it benefits a few, so they push it on the majority. It’s the goal of the ones in power to make the rest of us fear each other, distrust each other, hate each other. That’s how they keep their positions of authority.
It seems like it comes down to us… us…. the little guys. The non-connecteds, the un-influential… to be sane. To approach each other with humanity and dignity in spite of our differences. it comes down to me accepting that you might see things differently than I do, that you might be different than I am, but understanding that we can still share a zip code. Your thoughts and beliefs and understanding of the world doesn’t need to be a threat to me just because they are different.
If we just treat each other with basic dignity as human beings, we can live together.
This isn’t what these others want us to do. They want us to tear each other apart. Probably for their own gain.
But here’s the thing.
Jesus taught us to love our neighbor. He taught us that our neighbor is the last person we thought our neighbor could be. The Samaritans. The ones we thought we were supposed to hate.
It’s interesting how these decisive types talk about Christianity quite a bit, but don’t quote Jesus much. That’s because they know that if they did, it would undercut their entire argument. Because Jesus wasn’t messing around, and these guys are. They’re just building their own kingdoms and lining their own pockets.
Me? I’m personally going to with the guy who preached the Sermon on the Mount, and he wouldn’t have diddlysquat to do with these reactionaries who are using his name to divide and enrage and confuse and profit.
Either side, he wouldn’t have been in their camp.
He would stand among them and say, among things…
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”