The Runback: Who Do You Trust?
Just another example of politics and social media rearranging society in dangerous and problematic ways
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News and Politics
Flip? Says Who? National experts look like they're going to get Maryland wrong again.
Clown Announces Run for Governor: The Delegate From QAnon has decided to make a fool for himself.
July 2021 Republican Presidential Power Rankings: The Mood Remains the Same.
Frederick County Conservative Club to host Bircher: Why? Just Why?
In my latest column for The Capital: America is exceptional, the greatest country ever formed on Earth. Let us work together, to make our union more perfect every day.
The Monday Thought
I don’t always read pieces from The Atlantic, but one caught me eye.
In a piece about Michigan Republican State Senator Ed McBroom who investigated Trumpworld claims of voter fraud in Michigan and determined that they were totally bogus, I saw this quote from the McBroom’s wife:
“That’s what has struck me. It’s seeing people that we know—some of them we know very well—who are choosing not to believe Ed, because they believe someone on Facebook they’ve never met,” she said. “I just don’t understand. Like, really? You believe that person over Ed?”
It’s a really sad commentary, really. An elected official, a pillar of the community, somebody who these people personally know, is no longer believable because somebody on the internet says they are wrong.
To be fair, this is not a new phenomenon:
It just speaks to how badly politics can warp people’s sense of community and, frankly, of reality. This is not a new phenomenon. The John Birch Society members that I talked about when I wrote about the knuckleheads at the Frederick County Conservative Club bringing one out to a meeting were doing the same thing sixty years ago.
The problem is that social media exacerbates this problems by taking the warping sense of politics and turning it up to eleven. Social media creates a Feedback Loop where basically you only see what you want to see, and it creates a warped perception of reality. This is true not just as it relates to the factual basis of issues, but also the perceived popularity of certain politicians and policies.
The issues that McBroom faced, where people are convinced that something they learned on Facebook is real notwithstanding the actual facts of the matter, is common on the right.
But there is a similar issue on the left as it relates to Twitter. Twitter is more politically liberal than most of America, particularly among “power users” who use it frequently. Unfortunately, this tends to warp the perspective of journalists who seem to think that popular opinion on Twitter on which policies are or are not popular is representative of the public opinion. From voter ID laws to border control, the opinion on Twitter is not representative of the public at large.
The real problem is when people believe the internet instead of believing their own eyes and their own experiences. How do we combat that? I wish I had an answer. It certainly became more difficult during the last year, as people were isolated in their homes, without human interaction, and really with only social media to entertain them. But perhaps we just need to be more neighborly to each other. Maybe modern society’s reliance on technology, it’s lessened sense of community, the “Bowling Alone” phenomenon is really the cause of that.
Either way, it’s always a good practice to believe people you know in the flesh and not the ones you don’t on the internet.