• Iíve Been Struggling to Get My Head Around Whatís Happening in Our Country

    Iíve Been Struggling to Get My Head Around Whatís Happening in Our Country
    Mike Rowe - January 13, 2021

    ...In short, I was nauseated by what I saw on Wednesday. Nauseated, in the same way I was last summer, when I watched another group of anarchists try to burn down a federal courthouse with government workers still inside. Not since then, have I felt such a sadness for my country. My sympathies to the family of Brian Sicknick, the officer who died in the attack, along with the other cops who were injured in the riot. Condolences too, to the family of the woman who was shot, and the families of all the others who died on that day. So much senseless and completely avoidable death.

    To state the obvious, Louis, I think President Trump was wrong to wait so long to react to the chaos. I canít excuse what he said or justify the time it took him to condemn the individuals who entered the Capitol illegally. The whole thing was irresponsible. No less obvious, is the critical distinction that must be made between those who marched to the Capitol, and those who broke into it. The overwhelming majority of Americans who rallied in DC didnít break the law. Neither did the overwhelming majority of Americans who marched in the wake of George Floydís death. Thereís a bright line between a protest and a riot, and I strongly disagree with those who have attempted to blur that line, then and now.
    The way forward is difficult, and hugely complicated by a crisis of credibility. Lots of worried Americans, including many who donít support Trump, have lost their faith in the institutions we rely on to tell us the truth - most notably, the mainstream media. This has been the case for some time, but now it feels different. Now, the patina of fake news has covered everything with a sheen of doubt and suspicion. Politics, science, law, medicine, academiaÖexperts from every discipline are subject to new levels of skepticism, in part, because those experts hold forth on platforms that are no longer credible to half the country.
    Complicating matters even further, is a new level of censorship in our country unlike anything Iíve ever witnessed. As we all know, the President has been banned from Facebook and Twitter. Kind of amazing, but if thatís all there was to it, I imagine that many Americans would shrug and say, ďOh well, he had it coming.Ē But banning Trump seems to have opened the floodgates. Simon & Schuster just cancelled a book deal with Josh Hawley, a conservative senator. The reasons appear to be purely political. The editor of Forbes has just ďwarnedĒ companies not to hire Trump supporters. Other big corporations have followed suit. And now, two conservative social platforms, Parler and Rumble, have been dropped by Apple and Amazon.

    This is extraordinary. Parler had 20 million members yesterday. Today, those people learned they can no longer talk to each other on their platform of choice. Whatever else these actions might accomplish, they're absolutely going to reinforce the perception among millions of Americans that Big Tech and the mainstream media are now in lockstep with the new administration - not only to silence Trump, but to silence them. And that, as my grandmother used to say, will go over like a fart in church.

    I donít have the answers, Louis, nor do I have a crystal ball. But I can promise you that banishing people from platforms, or banishing platforms from people, or deliberately cutting off the way millions of people communicate is not the way forward. What we need in a divided country, is more communication, not less. And if we canít talk to each other, how can we ever hope to come together? Consider your own post, and your own trenchant questions. I could have easily deleted them. They were kinda nasty, after all, and on this page, I have the option to delete comments I donít like. I never do that though, (porn notwithstanding,) because silencing people who donít like me isnít productive. Nor is it effective. Nor is it interesting.

    Thatís why I responded to you, Louis, and thatís why Iím worried Ė sincerely and genuinely worried Ė that trying to silence millions of Americans at such a tumultuous time is going to have some consequences that are both serious, and unintended.
    More: https://mikerowe.com/2021/01/ive-bee...n-our-country/

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