"I am sorry to tell you this, but you have cancer."
That is a message no one wants to hear. There are lots of things we don't want to hear. People have a multitude of ways to accept, deny or avoid, unpleasantries. Psychologists call it "compartmentalization." The ability to take information and store it in a little lockbox in the corner of our mind, and pretend it doesn't exist.
People who have lived through close encounters with death, or who have been frightened beyond belief, often have no recollection of the incident. People who have lost a parent or were abused at a very young age will sometimes suppress their resentment and sense of abandonment for years. This form of denial is generally involuntary, but it can also be a tool purposely used to avoid discomfort.
The human brain has its own mind about how it should be used.
As our sources of information proliferate, is it any surprise that Americans are having difficulty agreeing on what is true and what is not? In his 1967 book, The Medium is the Massage, futurist Marshall McLuhan predicted the invention of the World Wide Web and the globalization of information systems. He warned that it would create an information tsunami that would overwhelm our personal ability to compartmentalize and ultimately disrupt social equilibrium.
He used a light bulb to illustrate his theory that it is not the content so much but the delivery system, we should be concerned with. The bulb delivers the content (the light) which illuminates the room, but it is still our responsibility to use the bulb properly to help us navigate the room. If you put the bulb in a corner behind the sofa, it won't expose much. McLuhan also warned that a filter can be placed over light bulbs, changing the color and intensity of the light delivered. The point is, no one should assume information content we receive has not been adulterated. Though Americans may be better informed than other populations, that doesn't mean we are fully informed.
I noted this conundrum in my book The Illusion of Knowledge: "Knowing large amounts of data are available should make us more aware of the potential absence of information. It is like Newton's Third Law of Motion: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The same is true of information exchanges: For everything you know, there is an equal and opposite thing you don't know."
In Communist countries like North Korea or China, citizens are fed only positive, inspirational and homogenized news content (light). Their state controlled media 'light bulb' is filtered, and avoids disseminating information that might cause people to suspect that they are being controlled or manipulated. That filtered bulb is designed to create a sense of complacency and contentment. Citizens living under Communism don't know what they don't know, and they don't miss things they never had. They have few if any tools with which to measure their lot in life. People who have never experienced political freedom can easily dismiss 'bright light' as something that is overrated.
You could say citizens of Communist countries are "Happy Campers" because they simply don't know any better. Conversely, having an abundance of unfiltered light (freedom, choices, divergent opinions) makes it hard to imagine not having such luxuries. Most Americans cannot fathom living without abundance. We think we know it all, and tend to compartmentalize anything that disrupts our sense of equanimity. It is easy to marginalize "conspiracy theories" about how quickly our freedom, our bright light, could suddenly go out.
A recent Pew poll found that 63% of Americans think that news stories are often inaccurate. That fact is as disturbing as it is counter-intuitive. With all of the advanced technology available, it would seem news accuracy should be increasing exponentially.
If it isn't then we have to ask ourselves why not? Is the good doctor afraid to give us some bad news? Instead of informing us, are massive news conglomerates simply tools being used to produce Happy Campers?
I have been climbing a moral mountain for a while. For the past year or so I have avoided supporting any business that openly contributed money to Black Lives Matter. In my mind, supporting any organization that openly calls for the destruction of the nuclear family, that promotes Marxism and suggests that all white people are systemically racist, is beneath my respect, and certainly doesn't deserve my financial assistance. Ever since the NFL kneeling incidents, I have boycotted Major League Baseball, Nike, the NBA, NASCAR, AT&T, Coca-Cola, and many other major transnational "woke" corporate jesters that have used their massive cultural presence to Virtue Signal the world.
What is 'Virtue Signalling'? It is "a pejorative neologism for expressing a morally disingenuous viewpoint with the intent of communicating good character." Good characters don't do things for their perceptive value. In fact, the definition of good character is "doing what is right when no one is looking."
We are all part of the American Family. It's OK to not like each other, but to accuse your own siblings of something as terrible and criminal as white supremacy is unforgivable, especially when it is clearly untrue. That is, by any definition, bigotry. If I am "systemically" a supremacist, then so are all of the white employees and customers of those same American companies. Falsely accusing one sibling in a quarreling family of being a hate monger, only creates more conflict. The reality is BLM has been active for nearly a decade and racial division and rancor is just getting worse.
It has been torturous to avoid using many of my favorite products but I have my dignity and I will not allow anyone to spit in my face while asking me to patronize their "services". I won't be held hostage to moral racketeering.
Admittedly, it has been a difficult journey because I love Coca Cola, Major League Baseball and the National Football League. I have often said Coke is the best tasting idea anyone ever had, and pro sports are classic American pass times. They build character, team comradery and foster community spirit. It is sad to see such American icons allow themselves to be used to project moral narcissism.
Since the COVID19 scare has wreaked havoc on everything normal about consumer spending, perhaps it's time to take a different approach. Pitching in to rebuild our economy is the right thing to do, so any economic blockade would be counterproductive. As a conservative, I support any nonpartisan effort to reduce institutional and cultural racism, and I believe most of us agree that driving-while-black type prejudice is real. But most of the flaws in our collective character won't be fixed by demonizing an entire group of people by their skin color, gender or their political association. You can't fight bigotry with more bigotry.
I will, however, continue to let the CEO's know how I feel via social media and letters, etc. I am going to keep standing for the National Anthem and wearing my patriotism on my sleeve whenever I get the opportunity. As a family man, I will support any contributions to unifying our national family.
Thank God for TV, because it looks like "Vaccine Apartheid" may make it impossible for me to attend a live sporting event or concert, ever again. That is my next moral mountain to climb.
If you came home from vacation and had a sense that something was wrong. That you just knew things were different, and your sixth sense was telling you someone had been in your home while you were gone. You carefully check your valuables, your jewelry and your windows and doors. Nothing appears to be wrong.
But as time passes you notice little things appear out of place. The salt and pepper shaker are not where you usually leave them. Then you notice that some outlet plugs that you use to fill outlets to protect children from putting something into them, are missing! OK, maybe you did that, but you can't think of any reason you would have.
Then you find a beer bottle cap under the kitchen cabinet toe kick space. It is a Canadian beer. You don't drink beer! Ever!
You were gone for 7 days, so it is impossible to remember all of the little details, every image of your living room, kitchen and bedrooms to catch any minor variation. But your subconscious is screaming! The whole place smells a little different. That is something you have never really noticed because people don't generally notice their own odors. This is incredibly disturbing!
So what do you do? Is it important to determine that somehow your home's security was breached even though at first glance there has not been any theft. Maybe some teenagers had a house party? Maybe a couple of lovers just wanted a romantic getaway with the added edge of breaking and entering?
Do you call the cops? Would they even come out to investigate since you can't report any losses? Hire a private eye? Probably not…
What is the point?
But the other side of that is can you ever feel safe again if your subconscious keeps reminding you that someone violated your innocence? It is like being raped and having no witnesses, no physical evidence and no suspects. So your choices are limited.
This home invasion situation actually happened to me, many years ago. My home is part of my body. It is my sanctuary, and when it was violated, it was extremely personal. People have compared being burgled to being raped. That may be an overreach, but the emotional impact on me was devastating.
Now think about this little scenario in light of the 2020 election. Most of us sensed something was wrong. It just smelled rotten. We couldn't prove anything and if we even asked about it, we were shamed and ridiculed. You're just a poor loser!
But I still can't shake the sense of violation. The deep concern that everything changed on November 3rd, and I can never trust the system again, until this perversion is revealed and the perps are uncovered.
If this rape of the American voting system actually happened, if a large number of dedicated experts worked together to remove a duly elected, sitting President and all of his appointments, initiatives and accomplishments, by coordinating a massive cyber assault across America, then that would require an equally massive response. It would require a military-style counter attack to capture and punish an army of traitors and foreign cyber soldiers. Why? Because anyone that would go to that extreme to simply put one man in the White House has much bigger aspirations. This operation is too complex, too sophisticated, not to mention too risky just to feed a candidate's vanity. Rigging the outcome of a Presidential election is nothing less than an overthrow of our entire system of government. It effectively neutralizes our Republic, and replaces it with a criminal hierarchy.
If it actually happened, it is without doubt the biggest act of war ever waged on the North American continent in world history. It would justify a Normandy Beach scaled response. Protecting the innocence of my home is one thing. Protecting the existence of the United States of America is quite another.
People I know who have traveled around the world and settled in America often say other nationalities are better informed, more conversational and less self-absorbed. They also say that Americans are really nice people. I knew that instinctively, because we wouldn't have sacrificed so many American lives to save others from totalitarianism if we weren't basically good people.
One Russian immigrant I recently spoke with said he was envious of how Americans live in relative wealth and have multiple choices for everything, yet still complain that the world is unfair. "Americans have no idea what fair means!"
He noted that freedom of the press is something we take for granted, but allow it to be misused. In Russia it is dangerous to criticize the President. In America, private enterprise can censor the President! One action silences the people, the other silences the people's elected representative. He wondered, "which is worse?"
Sergio said Russian media is like a father-figure "grooming the people to be happy". Since Russia is already a top-down, socialist management system, their job is "to facilitate complacency." So they concentrate on happy talk, and government policy affirmations.
In America, he thinks "the media is like a mother figure, trying to herd people into a monolithic culture". So they have to create a sense of chaos that the state can then promise to resolve. The media speaks to its audience like children, assuring us that "if we want to be happy, we must listen to mom".
He said when he saw how Twitter suspended President Trump's account, he was shocked. "That would never happen in Russia because no snot-nosed media operative decides when the President speaks."
He went on, "You guys should have made a stink. Twitter was acting like a totalitarian government" by shutting Trump down. "What happened to freedom of speech?"
I totally agree. If a government agency shut down Jimmy Kimmel because he violated "community standards", all hell would break loose. Heads would roll at the network, not because he said inflammatory things, but because he is a Progressive celebrity. He is exempt from criticism. He is mommy's favorite son.
If a sitting President wants to speak to the people he should be heard, and it isn't up to social media operators to make value judgements about the content. That is up to the people to decide. We are lucky to be able to look into the soul of leaders who want to be actively involved in social media. I say, "Let 'em rip!"
The idea that online media is privately owned and can therefore pick and choose who they allow to speak is bogus. We have laws that prevent private businesses, such as restaurants, from arbitrarily restricting service to certain groups. Those rules are based on equal protection and anti discrimination law. How are social media services any different than food services?
Censorship is censorship no matter how you package it. "Community Standards" are intended to protect children and minorities from exploitation. Adult Americans can protect themselves. We don't need Big Brother towering over our communications.
Unfortunately, when the censorship began, Americans quietly acquiesced, falling for the "Community Standards" excuse, which we all know has never really been applied evenly since the inception of social media platforms. Big Tech's unseemly censorship campaign points out how we take our liberties for granted and can easily be herded. Now they are overreaching, suspending and intimidating anyone that disputes their "Community Standards" narrative. Many platforms are now censoring discussions about human trafficking, the pandemic, and voting security.
Media elitists enjoy a tremendous amount of influence, which often results in a sort of drunken arrogance. Unlike the state mandated Russian form of media propaganda, our global corporate mandated media practices a subtle form of grooming. By altering or limiting content, redefining terms and guilt-shaming American individualism, the Progressive Media Cabal effectively grooms us to accept GroupThink.
For seven decades we have been fed a consistently ambiguous series of news events that were declared "Game Changing". The assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, and the mysterious death or disappearances of Jimmy Hoffa, JFK Jr., Antonin Scalia, Jeffrey Epstein, and many others, never added up for me. They all appeared to be altered reality, orchestrated by some nefarious Puppet Masters behind the digital curtains. So I take everything pushed by mass media with a grain of salt.
I know one thing for sure: There is no way to know anything for sure.
I find it interesting to look back sometimes, and note how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Here is an excerpt from my book Turn Right At Lost (2016) about what turned the tide in the 2016 election. Could history be repeating itself in 2024?
It is early in January 2016 and the long and exhausting campaign for the White House is at the halfway point. For most people this is like Chinese Water Torture. We have endured four Republican and 3 Democratic debates. We see the candidates act like petulant children, screaming invective, grabbing attention, hurling insults, posing, and backpedaling a lot.
Some of the candidates have pulled out, but there are still nearly a dozen telling the media they are sure they can actually be elected. Unfortunately for most of them though, very few Americans are listening anymore. They are slowly migrating to a few leaders. Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich and others have faded into the sunset. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders , along with Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are pretty much what is left to fight it out.
The most compelling story is Donald Trump. He only got into the race in an offhand way when he proposed building a "World class border wall" and "making the Mexican government pay" for it.
Suddenly, the whole election dynamic changed. Jeb Bush had vested his entire campaign appeal on his competency to manage a big state, to pull it out of financial collapse, and to bring Democrats into the fold. But Trump, who admits he had no idea his proposal would have such an impact, changed everything.
He hit a nerve.
The country had recently seen a series of unimaginable incidents of foreign immigrants crashing into the country, bringing disease, crime and social pressures on some states that were struggling before the immigration onslaught nearly bankrupted them.
In hindsight, Trump’s spotlight on immigration was a brilliant chess move. It has had the effect of boxing out all of the other candidates, forcing them into a defensive position. He grabbed the spotlight and he hasn’t relinquished it since.
Interestingly, the immigration issue is far from new. In fact, it was something Jeb should have been familiar with, because his brother George was haunted by it. Though GW is remembered for the Iraq War, his administration struggled with immigration for eight years.
I recently uncovered a letter written to GW in 2006. It was written by Ronald Maxwell, a Hollywood writer/producer/director, who is best known for directing “Gettysburg” and “Gods and Generals” about the Civil War.
In his letter he describes in details the extent of damage the US is suffering from the out-of-control invasion of illegal aliens. Ten years ago, a Hollywood media mogul, one of a very few conservatives, implored GW to get up to speed on the unprecedented cultural war happening along our Southern border.
“It may already be too late to avoid a future annexation of the Southwest by Mexico.” He warns the President that, “the natural weight of demographic change is accompanied by the soundtrack of radical demagoguery which seeks to legitimize and moralize this phenomenon as a Reconquista."
He goes on to characterize the GW administration's immigration policies as captive of big business, looking for cheap labor. That he could ultimately be remembered as the President who won the War In Iraq, only to lose the War Over the Southwest of America. He chastises Bush on behalf of the Senate, which he says shows more concern for immigrants than for American citizens.
“The McCain-Kennedy Bill looks like it was drafted by bureaucrats at the United Nations, rather than by representatives of the United States.”
Obviously, George paid no attention to the Maxwell letter, in the same way that many Americans today feel that politicians have paid little or no attention to the promises made in the 2012 midterm elections.
The immigration issue represents the ‘Game Changer’ in this election cycle and Donald Trump, because of his independence, his unrepentant disregard for PC sensibilities, and his outright anger, has placed it front row and center in the Race for the White House in 2016.
Has The Donald just changed history by redefining the terms of the election race? Only time will tell…