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Life

And, Exhale

I watched the inauguration of Joe Biden as the new President of the United States yesterday evening, and then fell down an internet rabbit hole this morning watching Angela Gorman and Katy Perry on YouTube.

It feels like the United States has suddenly exhaled – and much of the rest of the world has too. While watching footage of the celebrations yesterday evening across America, I remembered news coverage of the election, and of a young mother celebrating in the street with her daughter as Biden was projected the winner – with tears streaming down her face.

It turns out hope is pretty damn emotive.

Of course it’s easy to think of those I know – who so wished for this outcome – as “everybody”. We have to remember that seventy million people voted for none of this to happen. I guess it’s their turn to suck it up. I do wonder if the Trump experiment will stop any sort of republican get into power for a very long time though. People have long memories.

Over here, after having a conservative government for many years, several generations of younger people eventually forced change, and we ended up with a socialist government for the better part of a decade. Of course now those younger people have gotten older, earned their money, and no longer want to share it – they have become conservative, and now don’t want any part of the socialism they pined for during their youth.

I remember my Grandfather once telling me that politics goes in cycles every eight or ten years – that history repeats itself again and again – that change is driven by the young.

I’ve never quite understood why people feel the need to take sides in any sort of debate. I sometimes watch political debates on TV, or read news stories, and wonder quite what happens to people – to fall in step with their “gang”. It reminds me a lot of people with faith in the various religions – being told what to believe, what to think, what to value.

What happened to people having their own mind? What happened to watching, reading, and deciding for yourself?

I think the most maddening thing I commonly see is people complaining that the news is biased – when what they really mean is “anything that doesn’t agree with what I think is biased”.

Anyway.

While writing this, a little voice perched on my shoulder, whispering “you shouldn’t really write about politics and religion, you know”…

2 replies on “And, Exhale”

“What happened to watching, reading, and deciding for yourself?” is a line that always makes me nervous because so many people lack media literacy. My best friend apparently became a staunch Conservative sometime in the past six months (she lives in another state which is why it managed to surprise me). For awhile she was sending me links to things that she wanted me to read or watch that were absolute drivel. Any person with a youtube channel or podcast posting fake information they never bothered to (read couldn’t) source. When I would dismiss it or ignore her, her response was always “well how can you decide if you aren’t reading everything”. She’s a nurse so should know how to parse through data but apparently not. Of course, I don’t know what the alternative is, to allow people to decide but guarantee they’re deciding based on good information, other than shutting down the internet.

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