What we call the news has become “hate speech lite” for people who see themselves as too sophisticated to be guilty of hate.
There’s a lot of angst this weekend among good people who are full of rage about other people who were also full of rage and attacked or murdered some other people. A lot of decent people want to know what they can do to stem the tide of hatred that leads to violence.
Because they’re listening to news media — and to angry friends on social media — they’ve mostly accepted the narrative that the way to stop hate is to vote for Democrats in congressional elections. In reality, voting for anybody is just a way to keep the cycle of hatred going on and on and on.
The best thing you can do to fight evil is to turn off electronic media — to stop the alarmist hate you hear from almost everyone there — and to deal with the people around you in kindness and love. The answers you’re looking for won’t be found on cable news or social media.
If you listen to the news media, the source of hatred is whatever group opposes your ideological beliefs. For most of the media, the source of hatred is Donald Trump and any conservative or libertarian, because those people oppose their progressive agenda. For conservative media, the source of hatred is “the liberal Democrats,” especially certain hated figures on the progressive left.
As long as you are listening to media, you are hearing someone’s attempt to sell you on joining his crusade against a hated political enemy. You are being told that if the Democrats had power, hate would be defeated. (And if you watch Fox News or other conservative media, you are being told that Democrats are the source of all the hatred.)
But the truth about partisan politics is something you rarely hear. The battle between Democrats and Republicans (or whatever the groups call themselves in a different context) is over who gets to control everybody else.
Politics isn’t about “doing what’s right.” Politics is about which group gets to coercively impose its will on everybody else.
When Republicans take power, they pass rules which benefit them and their friends. They force everyone to pay for the things they want to do and allow freedom on the things they don’t care about.
When Democrats take power, they pass rules which benefit them and their friends. They force everyone to pay for the things they want to do and allow freedom on the things they don’t care about.
Do you see how much alike these groups are? They want to do different things, but they are identical in their willingness to use force to get you and others to obey them.
So if Democrats set the rules and force people to obey them, those who are being controlled are filled with rage. Periodically, a small minority of those people will eventually turn their hatred to violence. We’ve seen that long-term anger and resentment played out this week in the dysfunctional Florida man who mailed crude bombs to Democrats and news media.
If Republicans set the rules and force people to obey them, those who are being controlled are also filled with rage. Periodically, a small minority of them will eventually turn their hatred to violence. We saw a lot of that during the 1960s and early ’70s — and I suspect we’re heading toward a period of more of it today.
If you participate in this evil contest to decide who gets to control everybody else, you are contributing to the continued growth and spread of hatred.
The only way to break out of this cycle is to quit supporting either side in an evil war for control.
You cannot change everything by yourself. You can’t stop evil men from murdering Jews because they have internalized lies about this group. You can’t stop dysfunctional (and mentally ill) people from launching violent attacks on political enemies. Nothing you do can change that. You are doing nobody any good when you fill your mind with the garbage that is going on in the world.
The only thing you can do is to back away from this evil system and all the news about it — and focus on what you can control in your own world.
You can love people around you in the best ways you know how. You can be kind to the people you encounter. You can do a million things — voluntarily — to change the world right around you.
This doesn’t involve voting. This involves starting with your own mind and heart. It means taking your focus away from things you can’t control and focusing instead on your friends and family and neighbors.
As long as the vast majority of people support an evil system which controls everybody and turns one person against another, the sad truth is that you will be ruled by one group or another. You can either get mad at the Red Team (or the Blue Team) and you can try to install different rulers instead — or you can reject their evil system entirely.
If you reject their system, you can take your eyes off their quarrels. You can quit arguing about who has blame for what. You can stop believing the lie that your group being in charge will bring peace and love to your world.
You are the only person who can bring peace and love to your own world. It starts in your mind and heart. It’s reflected in how you treat the people around you — and it reflects itself in your being able to disconnect from the ongoing blame game about who is responsible for hatred.
Turn the political media off, not just the ones you disagree with, but all of them. Turn away from the arguments on social media. Focus on changing yourself and then on showing love and kindness to people around you.
This won’t stop the hatred that others are neck-deep in, but it will remove you from their cess pool. And if enough people make this voluntary change, we could change the world — not by forcing others to obey us, but by showing that people can choose to live in love and peace when they voluntarily choose to change their own hearts.