Whoa, that’s a broad headline. So, maybe not everything, but why many things are bad.
OK, what things?
Let’s try this: why every conversation and attempt at critical thought in America is bad.
OK, that’s not everything, but that’s a lot of things. The way we think? That directly and indirectly affects many, many things. I think it affects enough things where “everything” isn’t too far off.
I just had a semantics argument with myself. Awesome.
OK: Why many things are bad!
So few people really understand the way a democracy works, and even fewer people understand how to think critically in any context, let alone a context where there are multi-layered complex problems affecting an entire society.
Example: the argument over political correctness, a verbal thought war that’s been waged for a couple decades now. Both sides are populated by many, many dumb people. These people not only are dumb, but their dumbness continues the argument in perpetuity.
Many people on the “anti-PC” side of the argument are brushing off the PC idea as “soft” and “overly sensitive.” In many contexts, this is simply wrong. They are on the wrong side of history, and are resistant to a change that would be so minor and insignificant in their daily lives but very significant to the lives of others. It’s more than insensitive, it’s crass and insulting. It demonstrates a complete lack of sympathy for fellow human beings.
However, many on the “PC” side of the argument are so rabid and oversensitive that they may have created much of the argument in the first place. While eradicating slurs and offensive language should be something we strive for, many people on this side of the argument are blind to the fact that mistakes and accidents happen, and that the kind of change they’re looking for is largely generational, and will not be complete until long after they’re dead.
OK, there’s a rabbit hole here I should probably stop going down.
My main point: everyone looks at shit in a binary fashion, with no respect for the gray area whatsoever. This would be great if big problems were binary, but they simply aren’t. There aren’t simple solutions for everything. There’s actually very few things worth talking about that have a simple solution.
All people have guns, or no people have guns. All abortion or no abortion. If it’s not pure capitalism it’s communist. If you’re Muslim, you’re a terrorist. All welfare recipients are gaming the system. These are all idiotic, narrow-minded sentiments that turn blinders to the complexity of life, and the effects any of these issues have on all corners of society.
I don’t think I’m terribly smart. I think I’m kinda smart. I don’t have answers to all these problems. But I do know that no societal problem has a simple solution, and I also know that swinging the pendulum all the way to one side or the other is almost unilaterally a terrible idea.
I simply don’t understand why so, so many people have trouble grasping this, or don’t care enough to try.
It’s an anti-intellectualism that has long taken hold of American society, and I think that’s far more frightening than any of the other problems we face. It might not directly kill or hurt anyone, but it prevents us from fixing anything effectively.
I weep for the future.