Everyone thinks they’re smart and those other people are dumb. Seems one or the other must be wrong, or right. It’s difficult to find terms that don’t insinuate a certain exclusiveness or judgment. If everything is relative, though, then maybe everyone does possess some degree of “rightness.” Yikes.
It’s just hard not to think that many are buying a line that reeks of faux patriotism and fear of difference. They’re unduly influenced by people who don’t want things to change, people who need unquestioning loyalty and adherence to “the way things have always been” (read: “the way I need things to be”).
I don’t know if there is anyone who always thinks for themselves, but those who try probably aren’t watching Fox News regularly or worshiping at the feet of Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or Lauren Boebert. You gotta be able to read between the lines. You have to be able to make peace with the fact that America is not infallible, that it’s not as pure and blameless and great as a whole freaking television network would have you believe, but at the same time that it is under attack by a foreign government (think hammer and sickle) that would love nothing more than to tear America apart.
I used to embrace that old chestnut: “America. Love it or leave it.” Not anymore, not for a while now. It’s just not that simple. Unquestioning loyalty? Sorry, can’t do it. And yet… somewhere under and amidst the flaming rhetoric and visceral discord and the voices trying to drown each other, there still exists the dream of a place that is guided by ideals, and shockingly color blind. I don’t mind looking for that place, working toward that kind of nation.
Maybe this is where we get stuck, though—always on the journey, never arriving, unable to agree on what that more perfect union should look like. Mired, instead, in this god-forsaken place where some people are magically better than “those people.”