Apocalypse Not

This is not the apocalypse. I don’t believe in apocalyptic—until the apocalypse comes. I think nothing is the end of the world until the end of the world.

We’ve seen this coming. Mongo is not an outlier; he is a culmination, a logical conclusion of the rhetoric and tactics of the Republican Party for the past ten, fifteen, twenty years. What surprised me was the degree to which those tactics and rhetoric completely jumped the rails. There were no governing principles, there was apocalypse-notno one to say, “No, this is going too far, this isn’t what we stand for.” 

The Monster beating fifteen people said less about his skills and more about the lack of skills of the people he beat. But, obviously, he tapped into something. He’s able to distill the anger and resentment and the sense of aggrievement. And he is skillful at challenging the conventions in a way that makes people feel something and that gives them some satisfaction.

The new media ecosystem means everything is true and nothing is true. An explanation of climate change from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist looks exactly the same on your Facebook page as the denial of climate change by somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll. And the capacity to disseminate misinformation, wild conspiracy theories, to paint the opposition in wildly negative light without any rebuttal—that has accelerated in ways that much more sharply polarize the electorate and make it very difficult to have a common conversation. Mongo understands the new ecosystem, in which facts and truth don’t matter. You attract attention, rouse emotions, and then move on. You can surf those emotions.

This is not mathematics; this is biology and chemistry. These are living organisms, and it’s messy. And your job as a citizen and as a decent human being is to constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness and respect and understanding. And you should anticipate that at any given moment there’s going to be flare-ups of bigotry that you may have to confront, or may be inside you and you have to vanquish. And it doesn’t stop. You don’t get into a fetal position about it. You don’t start worrying about apocalypse. You say, O.K., where are the places where I can push to keep it moving forward. All of this requires vigilance in protecting gains we’ve made, but a sense, yes, of equanimity, a sense of purposeful calm and optimism, and a sense of humor—sometimes gallows humor after results like the ones we just had. That’s how ultimately the race is won.

I believe in this country. I believe in the American people. I believe that people are more good than bad. The only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world. I think we’re going to be okay.

Barack Obama

Advertisements

0 Responses to “Apocalypse Not”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




When I Worked

January 2017
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Feb »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

%d bloggers like this: