Will Greed Gobble up Democracy?
Imagine being exposed as a fraud and a hack and trying to get paid before the internet pulls the plug.
Thankfully, you know exactly how to rile people up, what buttons to push, and how to get fearful and angry people to respond by hailing you the patron saint of telling it like it is.
This is what Trump does, this is what Alex Jones does, this is what you do.
Greed isn’t partisan, dumb works, and you have not just a head start but extensive and genuine expertise in the subject matter. That’s why you choose to line your pockets with the proceeds of outrage while you still can, oblivious to the role you’re playing in propagandizing the zeitgeist as you jostle for influence with people just as disingenuous as you. Alas, a presidential election isn’t the same as voting for a homecoming queen or king, unless you peaked in high school and still can’t stand seeing people you dislike in charge of everything.
Your ‘big feels’ keep getting in the way. You’re seething with resentment at having to ‘adult’, which became a verb and subsequently a Merriam-Webster entry when ‘grow up’ presumably proved too triggering. Orwell’s newspeak is 2020 Trumpian logorrhea, spoken not just by its creator but anyone who noticed you can eventually wear people down by repeating the same thing ad nauseam until they do not only believe you but you also believe yourself. So not, the orange man off the TV isn’t single-handedly bleeding language of meaning, he has innumerable helpers across the political divide.
Gen X has no excuse for not knowing better though.
We remember life before the internet, we remember how the internet upended everything, we remember when the internet wasn’t the cesspool it is now.
And we even remember when blogging began.
Many of us— hopefully most of us although it’s mightily hard to gauge at this point—are determined to avoid fascism, fascism greed is helping install with self-serving diatribes about how much it dislikes Biden while virtue signaling about voting for him.
Had Joe Biden been a woman and a single mom for example, maybe your approach would be more forgiving. But he was only a single dad of two for five years so it doesn’t even register, despite the tragic circumstances that led him to single parenthood. What about his first wife Neilia and her impact on his political career?
Whatever happened to heart? It takes greed of immeasurable magnitude to replace it with a calculator in times like these.
You’re not helping, you’re just helping yourself.
Without critical thinking, i.e. intellectual maturity, navigating the dystopia Trump forced us all into is difficult.
I didn’t like this part two years ago and I like it even less now but it is necessary as people don’t tend to relate to abstracts, so please allow me.
France is America’s oldest ally.
I’m French by birth therefore culturally blunt. It’s France who gifted America The Statue of Liberty, it’s America who gifted France freedom from fascism. Thanks to that freedom, the European Union happened, and grew from 6 founding countries in 1950 up to 28 until it shrank as a result of the Brexit vote just a few months before the US presidential election in 2016.
That was the cue right there and America missed it.
And yet, many tried to raise the alarm: immigrants, Americans by choice, American expats, neighbors, allies. Nope. Greed was way, way, way too busy making money hand over fist ridiculing the orange man off the TV to take him seriously or listen to any of us. If the initial shock of his election did throw profiteers off balance for a hot minute, it also revealed untapped — unprecedented even — market opportunities for parlaying outrage and anger into cash. To media and social media, Trump is the gift that keeps on giving and likely will continue to do so for quite some time, regardless of what happens in November.
Here’s the doozy: Deriding fascism can empower it.
And then the pandemic happened.
Fear set in. How could it not when there isn’t just a leadership vacuum at the top but a black hole of greed swallowing a nation?
During the pandemic, greed self-actualized because infinite growth was never supposed to stall or contract. What the most hopeful now refer to as late-stage capitalism, others still call predatory capitalism. As far as the tenor of the online discourse goes, it doesn’t look like it’s going extinct any time soon.
Instead, it has been thriving with complete impunity.
Surprisingly, the worst offenders aren’t even Republicans (some of them never backed Trump and are actually trying to get Biden elected) but those who identify as Democrats but whose every word is a molotov cocktail of dumb that sets fire to whatever platform it’s on.
Granted, we aren’t just all desperate, we’re all overwhelmed, exhausted, and terrified. Mental overwhelm doesn’t justify pawning a nation’s future but money doesn’t care. However, trust dumb to pass it off as what it’s not. Wobbly mental health isn’t the same as spiritual poverty or a lack of basic human decency. This kind of mauvaise foi helps no one.
Whatever happened to heart? It takes greed of immeasurable magnitude to replace it with a calculator in times like these. Dumb knows its days are counted so it ‘reasons’ it might as well get paid and help itself to everything including language, free speech, and goodwill.
Only no one has any patience left anymore. Whether Trump gets re-elected or not, change is inevitable.
Also, you can’t pick empty pockets.