As a man over 60, I have seen my share of changes in society.
Technologically, we live in an amazing time. Do you realize the first smartphone came on the scene only ten years ago? Name another time in history that so much has happened in such a short time! One hundred and fifty years ago, we had horses and trains for transportation, and telegraph and printed newspapers for communication.
The only change from one hundred fifty years before that was just the train and the telegraph. We went to the moon and built the SR-71 using slide rules. The things that lie ahead will be mind boggling- if we survive. You read that right. I honestly believe we are on the road to tearing ourselves apart.
The things that lie ahead will be mind boggling, if we survive. You read that right. I honestly believe we are on the road to tearing ourselves apart.
I published a novel in 2012 called Spare Time. The premise was built on the fact that we have wandered away from first principles of being good neighbors- honest and decent with each other in spite of disagreements. In the four plus years since I wrote Spare Time, our society is more divided than ever. We seem to be devolving and fast as technology is evolving.
© 2015 DonkeyHotey, Flickr | CC-BY
For Years, FOX News was on a TV in my house anytime I was inside. I watched first thing while I drank my coffee and had breakfast. I might change it later in the evening when the cycle would restart and I’d already seen the show.
All that ended in the past couple of years.
I began to see a strong bias. I don’t think they changed- I did. As I began to search more and more for truth, I eventually stopped watching FNC altogether, and I do not watch any broadcast news for the same reason. I tell you this, so you know I “have no dog in this hunt.”
Megyn Kelly is a very smart woman. If you have read her story and how she got her start, you have to admire her tenacity. According to AdWeek, October 2016 Had FNC leading all the cable news outlets with the Kelly File being number two behind The Factor. The Kelly File was the number one cable news program for the month of October among adults 25-54, up +71 percent from October 2015, and ahead of Bill O’Reilly by +20,000 viewers.
And then I looked at my newsfeed on Facebook after her announcement saying goodbye to her FOX audience: “Good riddance.” “Her ratings will go down faster than Bill Clinton’s pants at a trailer park.” “Thank God! Now please wrangle tomi lahren away from that loser glenn beck and put her in megyns time slot.” Those were a few that I could actually copy and paste…many were quite vulgar.
What has happened to us?
When did we become people who have to be in 100% agreement with someone or they are disgusting, a traitor, or worse? My decision to stop watching FNC was based more on the culture at the network. They came on the scene with the “We report, you decide” mantra and evolved, in my view, into an arm of the Republican Party. I did not make a big deal about it; I didn’t post about it; I didn’t call FNC or their hosts names. I did not demand all my friends agree with me, and alienate those who did not. I just decided to stop watching.
What is the purpose or the endgame to this attitude? I know where it will lead, but what do the people who say this hope to gain? Are they seeking some sort of recognition or acceptance from their friends? If they get a certain number of likes on their post, are they suddenly “someone?” I saw comments such as, “No one watches you anyway!” That comment has no truth to it at all, but she is the villain.
Maybe society has not changed all that much; maybe it is the technology that brings all this to the forefront, making it more evident. Possibly- however, I do know we will not solve any of the issues that plague our nation as long as we behave this way towards those with whom we disagree.
Megyn was reportedly offered $20 million to stay at FNC, and it is reported she will make “significantly less” at NBC. She said she wants to spend more time with her three children, so moving from an evening show to a daytime show fits. Somehow, then, if in my mind FNC = good and NBC = evil, then Megyn is now a persona non grata. If she says something negative about someone you like, she is suddenly a horrible person?
I know of one perfect person who has ever lived, and people lied about Him, and eventually killed Him because what He said made people uncomfortable. I think I have answered the question as to whether it is people who have changed or technology. People have not changed; it is simply easier to see them.
There’s an old English proverb, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” To me the meaning is simple, you can attract those with whom you disagree much more easily by being polite and nice, than by being rude and crude. If I am trying to draw someone to the constitutional conservative way of thinking, it will not happen by calling them names and being rude. Abraham Lincoln was not the first to use the phrase “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” Jesus, Himself, spoke on the subject.
Mark 3:23-27 NKJV 23 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. 27 No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.
If we do not change our methods, not only will we not bring in anyone from “the other side,” and we will destroy our own movement. Not only do we need to stop the petty sniping at each other, but we must learn to find the common ground we share with others. We need to learn to articulate how constitutional governance is an advantage and an asset for all.
Spare Time is about people who, in spite of differences of opinion, united together for a common purpose that was greater than themselves. It also offers some excitement in how they handled those who fought to stop them. My purpose with this article is not to sell books; it is to make you stop and think how you react and come across to others. I am certainly not perfect, and I too am guilty of being rude in my reaction.
We cannot “make America great again” unless we make ourselves great again.
We cannot expect our elected officials to be something we are not willing or able to be ourselves. We will not win everyone; we may not win the majority, but that is not the point. Our founders were not a majority nor did the majority support them, however, the majority was better off because of them. We have our work cut out for us.
Photo Credit: “271/365 – Groupies”, © 2010 Derek Hatfield, Flickr | CC-BY