- Politics and Social Issues»
- United States Politics
We Have Become a Nation of Sheep
Smartphones Have Taken Over
Look around next time you are out in public. Put down your smartphone (better yet, leave it at home) and just look at people. The first thing you will notice is that that they are all on their smartphones, or will be within five minutes.
What are they doing? Chances are they are NOT having a phone conversation. They are either sending or receiving a text, using an “ap,” playing a game, taking a picture/selfie to post on Facebook, searching for something on Google, or even buying something online. Every damn one of them.
When they do actually talk, what are they talking about? Here is the short list:
- What they just ate, where they plan to eat next, when they will eat, or hope to learn how to cook, or possibly what they won’t eat.
- Where they just were (physical place), where they are now, where they are going next (physical places – not life goals).
- Who said what amongst their friends and acquaintances, and why that makes them happy, sad, or angry.
- The most recent sports event, or one that is coming up.
- The most recently released movie or TV show, a detailed synopsis of the plot, and how they feel about it. Perhaps what they think should have/should not have happened.
- The most recent act of public violence or natural disaster.
What About the Election?
If they are actually discussing the Presidential Election, they may talk about the two front runners: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They will most likely not even know the names of any of the other candidates (e.g., Gary Johnson, the 2016 Libertarian Party nominee). They will not discuss policies or values or proposed legislation. They will repeat the most recent insults and derogatory comments from the headlines. Depending on their point of view, you might hear:
- Hillary is a liar, crooked, etc. (negative).
- Hillary is breaking barriers and making history (positive).
- Donald is a racist (negative).
- Donald will make America great again (positive).
Anything deeper that this is rarely heard out in public. Actually, anything deeper is rarely heard or seen anywhere. Especially on social media. An in-depth policy debate is impossible on that forum (I know this personally, because I tragically tried to do so recently on Facebook).
The public believes nothing more or less than what they hear from their favorite news program or website. If you watch Fox News, you will hear a more conservative viewpoint. If you watch CNN, ABC, CBS, or NBC, you will hear a more left leaning narrative. The number of people who will actually follow-up a news story to verify sources, or read more in-depth analysis in, say, a book, has dwindled to the point of single digits or less in terms of a percentage of the population.
Fox News would have you believe that the war on terror is in dire straits. The other networks want the American people to embrace all refugees, and that we have nothing much to fear. The dichotomy is incomprehensible.
I may be one of the few exceptions to the “read a book” comment. I recently purchased “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies” by Michael T. Flynn and Michael Ledeen. It is a long, hard look at the war being waged by radical Islamists on America and the West in general. It’s scary stuff, which is why many people try to ignore it as much as possible.
What Has Happened to America?
The good old USA was founded by people who believed in self-government and the free exercise of their inalienable rights. It was built by millions upon millions of dreamers and self-starters, who wanted life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It produced a nation that put a man on the moon and returned him safely home.
Today it seems that the masses are happy to settle with free cell phones and free food doled out by the ever-expanding government. In the interests of being “safe,” we have forfeited some of the very freedoms that created this nation. The media, educational and cultural institutions are all dead-set on making us believe that in the interests of equality, we must all reduce ourselves to the lowest common denominator.
We actually have a president who once said, “We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” The message is clear: Don’t stand out. Don’t be exceptional. And if you do actually succeed, apologize for it, since you’ve obviously made somebody else feel bad.
This same president recently said, "Groups like ISIL can’t destroy us, they can’t defeat us. They don’t produce anything. They’re not an existential threat to us. They are vicious killers and murderers who perverted one of the world’s great religions." Way to bury your head in the sand, Obama. Granted, most followers of the religion of Islam are peaceful, but that does not negate the threat of Islamic extremism.
Yes, you can point to all of the flaws and social problems we’ve had along the way. If you do, however, you must also to any other nation on this planet that has not had its share of social, economic, and/or political problems – and without our considerable successes. I didn’t think so.
That’s it for this soapbox rant. I could go on, but I’m making myself depressed. You may return to your smartphone. Just don’t text and drive.