Aug. 2nd, 2012

I've been struggling a lot lately with something, namely that the world seems pretty screwed up and it's getting worse. This may partially be a perspective issue; current crisis situations appear more dire than past ones. However, I think even the space of time will reveal that the American political situation is as fractured as it has ever been, and the ideological divide between the halves of my country is wider than any we have ever seen.

Again, a possible perspective issue: I happen to believe that the side I am on is right, and the side they are on is wrong. I like to think of myself as an open-minded individual, capable of listening to all sides of an issue and understanding where everybody is coming from, but lately I have increasingly felt that there is no possible way that a growing number of conservative Americans have any kind of rational basis for believing the way they do. On issues ranging from disbelief in science (global warming, immunization of children), to a failure to accept the reality of a new and just social order (the fundamental rights of gay people as human beings), to a failure to accept the reality of an old and just social order (I feel an awful lot of Obama-hate stems from discomfort with a black president, even if nobody wants to admit this), those other people think a lot of things that I just can't comprehend. It's not that I don't understand the words they are using, or that I cannot follow the chains of statements intended to support their arguments. It's that I cannot place my mind in any kind of space where I could listen to those words and arguments, and conclude that the opinions they hold are in any way valid.

I refuse to believe that half of the United States is insane. That possibility is too horrifying to contemplate. I prefer to believe that something else is happening -- something wherein people with otherwise healthy minds are exhibiting symptoms of a heretofore underdescribed syndrome.

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September 2012

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