The big news this weekend is the Nunes Memo was released after being spoken of for much of last month as a potential bombshell. I read it yesterday morning when I woke up and confess to being initially underwhelmed. As I’ve written more than once, I don’t make much of an effort to keep up with the news and haven’t for a while. Things get through to me from a variety of sources including some sites I regularly visit. Most of the ones listed on the sidebar aren’t even daily visits. So the memo was big enough for me to notice and I’m also inspired to write some commentary.
After reading it I started browsing news sites and checked the Twitter feeds related to it. Unsurprisingly everything is already and clearly divided along partisan lines. Talking-heads in the media seemed to have made a decision well before it was released on what they would think about whatever was revealed.
After seeing all this I got to wondering about something I’ve long been thinking about on the political climate in the Western world generally. I keep thinking that something big and unavoidable will happen that will make a side see and admit that they were wrong. You would think for example, that the collapse and utter ruin of Venezuela would have at least a few people who praised Hugo Chavez in the early 2000s showing some humility. Nobody to my knowledge has though.
What is slowly dawning on me though is that this is never going to happen. It is not only unlikely that people will change their minds based on compelling or new evidence, I’m increasingly convinced that this not how the vast majority of people think at all. I’m also incidentally not convinced this is necessarily a bad thing either.
If God himself came down in a blaze of glory with legions of angels and told people exactly what’s what, I doubt many atheists would bend the knee in repentance. And such it is with this memo to bring things squarely back to earth. In the end, it doesn’t even matter what is written in it or whether any of it is true. People are going to decide what they want to. I think the content of the memo could be considerably worse and it would be the same.
If I was one of those talking-head guys, I would be severely tempted to write an article about how if the boot was on the other foot that the reaction of the left would be completely the opposite of what it is. I would then promptly starting trotting out examples, starting of course with everybody’s favourite: Watergate. As a small aside, I’m actually thankful this has not widely been dubbed “MemoGate” although I may be speaking or already have spoken too soon. Such an article would be pointless outside of fulfilling the necessary output for receiving my wage though. It would be confirmation for people who already agree and virtually unread by those who don’t.
The contents of the memo don’t really matter. It doesn’t matter whether it is true or complete nonsense. It just doesn’t matter. This should give everyone pause because it is an example of how dangerous the times we live in really are. I used to believe that the left was motivated ultimately by goodwill and just was mistaken in their methods. I no longer believe this about even the most moderate of them. I’m quite certain the left has never entertained any such assumption about people like me.
I’m not being original in pointing this out but this means American and most Western societies are now stratified to the point where they will only move further apart. There is no debate, no argument, no evidence, no fact and no belief that will change this anymore. If this tension cannot be broken down by discourse then what will become of us?
Part of me has a “bring it on” attitude to the potential for the society in which I was born to break down into savage war. But I know that such an eventuality will be very dangerous as I believe I’ve written in a previous post. This is bad and I can only pray that whatever happens, I can be guided to do the right thing.