I’m baffled how brandishing an AR-15 assault rifle, waving a rebel, Nazi, or Don’t Tread on Me flag while wearing a joker mask does anything to help end the coronavirus epidemic. In fact, it highlights the blind, Zombie-esque, loyalty that led to Jonestown, Waco, and Oklahoma City. Whenever people get so blinded by their own idiocy, they become a threat not only to a democratic process but civilization itself. It means that we are so far outside the lines we’re going to be hard-pressed to find them again. Who’s the real enemy here?
Dealing in stereotypes is always dangerous, but close your eyes for a few minutes. If you heard a crowd described as a “gathering of protestors, many dressed in camo and brandishing automatic weapons and other paramilitary gear…” who comes to mind? What do they look like in your mind’s eye? I’ll leave it at that and you decide if there is a template that comes to mind. Does carrying an AR-15 to a courthouse or public gathering intimidate the virus? Does it frighten it into submission? Will using this opportunity to exercise 2nd Amendment rights help eradicate it? Maybe it will cause it to magically disappear as our president suggests it will.
It all supposedly stems from the need for America to get back to work. This is understandable for a lot of people who live paycheck to paycheck with no margins for error. However, I’d be interested in polling the crowds gathered in a lot of these protests to determine how many of them actually fit that profile or are they dupes. What’s even more troubling is that this is all taking place in the “age of information”. When it was ushered in during the 1970s it was heralded as a new age of enlightenment. Virtually all the world’s history was at our fingertips. Computer-power that once took up a whole city block was now in the palm of your hand. But like all innovation, there are unintended consequences. The main one, in this case, is that all of the access and information in the world is worthless without the ability to discern fact from fiction.
Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? – Galatians 4:16
The fact is, we have become intellectually lazy. We want our senses stimulated more than our minds expanded. Maybe Timothy Leary’s 1960’s mantra “Turn on, tune in, drop out” was more prophetic than anecdotal. We turn on our TVs, cell phones, tablets, watches, and other devices to tune in to our own versions of reality we want to accept. With the information age, has also come a kaleidoscope of versions of the truth changing before our very eyes. We’ve blown right past red-state, blue-state with COVID. We’ve entered a state of inflamed lunacy befitting a 3rd rate science fiction novel. When we get to the point that the workforce needs to be sacrificed for the good of the economy and killing off the elderly and sick is akin to the thinning of the herd, we have dropped out of reality.
America, and possibly the world has reached the tipping point. A tipping point is “the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change.” It’s also described as irreversible. So, before we go plunging over the edge keep some things in mind. One, we have to move beyond blind allegiance to color or cause; COVID doesn’t care. It’s going to run its course no matter what party allegiance, or ideology you believe in. Secondly, seek the truth. Scour all resources, electronic and print, to find the truth. Don’t be limited by the ease of access or Google searches. Social media has created a playground for lies, deception, misinformation and conspiracy theories. It’s not uncommon for things that make themselves readily available and easy to access to also turn out to be deceiving. The truth doesn’t always make itself readily visible – even though its always in plain sight. Above all remember that COVID is the true enemy and seek the truth, over sound bites, about its origin and spread!