Thanks to everyone who responded to last week’s blog. These are very difficult times and I heard very thoughtful responses from several people.
My surgery was easy for me. I get the biopsy next week. Thanks for the many prayers and expressions of support.
We get our first COVID vaccination this Thursday. We are looking forward to more freedom.
Some Observations. The responses I get to my musings are sane, sensible, responsible and diverse. However, the diatribes I read and hear from other sources on both sides of our issues are not as thoughtful. I want to highlight three observations of those diatribes:
- I believe most people who are firm in their convictions engage in confirmation bias. They look for evidence to support their beliefs and ignore or disbelieve counter evidence. It is a powerful human trait. We must all work to overcome it.
- I believe most people who are firm in their convictions are quick to see the sawdust in the other perspectives and ignore the plank in their own. Another powerful human trait we must all work to overcome.
- I believe the biggest problems we face are not Democrat vs Republican, left versus right, liberal versus conservative, or cultural clashes. Rather the problem is hearts of self-righteousness, hatred and fear. We need hearts of love. Borrowing from St. Paul, hearts of love listen, speak with care, are patient and kind, do not envy or boast, are not arrogant or rude, do not insist on their own way, are not irritable or resentful, do not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoice with the truth.
We need hearts of love to attack fiscal security, social justice, election integrity and the many other problems we face.
Nazis Everywhere. A sign of the depth of our divide and the need for hearts of love is found in an interesting relationship I noted in the diatribes by both sides. Both sides belief the extremes in the other side are leading us toward Nazism. Interestingly both sides dismiss the extremes on their own sides as loonies and aberrations. The left is certain the right is leading us toward Nazism because they see swastikas at a rally. The right thinks the left is practicing more subtle but successful approaches – censorship, loss of freedom, etc.
I think both may be right. If the extremes in either party gain control, we may find ourselves in conditions similar to Nazi Germany. I have read and heard people on both sides speak of purging those who do not believe like they believe.
We need hearts of love to clearly dismiss the extremes on both sides and come together for the common good.
Media Bias. In my opinion, the media contributes much to the great divides we have in our country. Problems of our media were clearly evident on both sides this week.
On the right, Fox settled a lawsuit in which they were at fault for spreading false conspiracy claims regarding the death of a congressional aide.
On the left, on 60 Minutes Nancy Pelosi offered an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that Putin has something on Trump and no one in the liberal press called her on her claim.
In addition, for years we have been told Trump was easy on Russia and now we hear something different from CNN — hardly a bastion of Trump support. Noted commentator Farik Zakaria made the interesting statement: “You know, the dirty little secret about the Trump administration was that while Donald Trump had clearly had a kind of soft spot for Putin, the Trump administration was pretty tough on the Russians. They armed Ukraine; they armed the Poles. They extended NATO operations and exercises in ways that even the Obama Administration had not done. They maintained the sanctions.”
Media bias is an equal opportunity employer.
We need hearts of love in the media with a return to reporting facts. We need at least one source reporting without an agenda.