Looking up from rock bottom

A look through your social media news feed of choice will do a good job of showing you the churning ocean of political opinion and activism prevalent in the public these days. Growing up in the 90’s, the biggest scandal was Lewinski’s blue dress, everything else was like farting into a pillow, you might smell the evidence of something happening, but it wasn’t singing and dancing in front of you throughout the day.

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Public forums and social media have made that proverbial pillow disappear, and now, everyone makes their opinions loudly known, talking shit for everyone to hear. Yes, I realize the irony of publicizing that last line on my blog. The point is that I see this internet and social media revolution as a good thing because it gives everyone a voice.

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And allows you to post videos that look like this

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m stationed in Europe and rely on outside perspectives and various news sources to get a picture of what I’m returning home to, but it seems like times are drastically changing. It seems as if the presidential election, is indeed a revolution of sorts, making America Great Again, however, it was the exact opposite of what was expected. People are much more open about social issues, empathy is on the rise, and the failure of the Republican health care plan has shed light on just how willing the system is to dick you down. This is all unfolding in a beautiful way. Let me explain…

  1. Ignorance can still be embraced, but it’s finally frowned upon.

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While mainstream ultra conservatives are screaming about fake news and liberal bias, the rest of the public gets to sit back and see two warring sides fight for information rights. One side has very clearly embraced facts and a healthy bit of skepticism, while the other has been aggressively hiding behind their long-standing beliefs. In response, the most extreme of conservatives have clung to the argument, or rather insult, of broad political opinion. For example, the phrase of “bleeding heart liberal” or a scoff followed by “millennial”, they all aim to undermine a spot on the political or social spectrum, but do not specifically attack an idea.

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This is what old conservatives picture when they hate on millennials

While us 90’s babies grew up in a world where vague arguments about political ideologies were acceptable, rapid access to information has killed the ability to chant louder than the opposition. Information is everywhere, and it’s everything. Don’t believe me? If you’re under 30, turn your wifi off for a day and tell me how many panic attacks you have. It’s no longer acceptable to blindly follow something without completely understanding it, and being able to defend it. People are wise to sources now, after having to scour through Wikipedia, and fact check, it’s getting harder and harder to trick the masses. So, bad news climate change deniers, flat earth theorists, and religious fundamentalists, you have to actively defend your claims and deny mounting scientific proof and data.

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FAKE NEWS!

The bottom line is that the Internet has erased the previous monopoly on information. While there is still a resource shortfall for the less privileged, and they do get that proverbial fart pillow to the face quite often, access to information has exponentially risen, giving rise to a generation of educated, underprivileged, and under appreciated Americans that don’t like to be lied to, also, they know when you’re bullshitting them.

  1. Progressive people win, because conservative people eventually die off.

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As access to information, and the vilification of ignorance has taken ground socially, our philosophies are changing. It is hard to maintain a conservative mindset, cause frankly, shit changes.   It was easy to tell kids in the 90’s how awesome we were, how the system worked for us, hell that’s why we won the cold war right? This attitude gave us a victory complex where we were all eating McDonalds, and bleaching our hair, but eventually ended up obese with exposed roots and a poor track record. It took us a while but eventually we saw the error in our ways. The people that cling to this mentality make up the aging ultra conservative right, the kind of folks that brag about the good ole days and complain how this generation is ruining the country. It’s the “great” that America thought we were going to make again, but the throwback Thursday posts have only embarrassed us and made us feel foolish.

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Crush’in it.

Fortunately for this country, those people are aging and shuffling to an early grave, thanks ironically to Mc Donalds and bleached hair. No matter how much you beat these ideologies into your kid’s heads, it will eventually die off. It’s hard to talk about how gay marriage ruins the country when you work with gay people, or see them in the media, or they make up part of your social circle. It’s hard to convince the population that taxing the rich will end up hurting the job market, when the economy has been poor for years during the most embarrassing of tax breaks and layoffs.

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Not so much the downfall of America that we were told it was

This social and political shift has led to an awakening. Our education and understanding has started to shift our politically accepted norms, people are calling our representatives out on their shit. The use of blanket statements and prejudices have started to impact everyone, and it’s getting harder and harder to divide people on it. The population that still clings to these mentalities are diminishing, but becoming more concentrated, much like a fart into a pillow. It is becoming harder to divide people on social issues, regardless of your political views.

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But… Greatness?
  1. The political climate change during the digital age has illustrated our lack of discipline and integrity, and it has pissed people off.

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It’s much harder to hide a Pyrrhic victory now that all can see the cost of the campaign. Justification of decisions are now in high demand, especially when those decisions lead to second and third order effects that this country is tired of seeing on news feeds. While the poor have to carefully weigh options and save for contingencies, they’ve seen the over privileged political machine make consequence free errors that affect their lives in big ways. Never before has this been so apparent and downright shocking.   The marches, protests, and anger have bubbled to the surface of a disenfranchised majority.

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Pictured: The disenfranchised majority

While conservatives defend their own platforms, the liberals have embraced social awareness and activism. Nowhere was this more apparent that the stark differences displayed in the tea party movement opposite the numerous marches and protests by various groups after the presidential election. Conservatives are finding it harder and harder to trick the poor that support them because of ideological beliefs. They might want to end abortion, but they don’t want to give up their healthcare and jobs to do so.

This election has made the public demand more of our representatives specifically integrity and discipline. It’s no longer acceptable to make outrageous claims and not be able to prove it. I don’t know if muck racking is dead, but this election and subsequent presidential approval ratings have shown that we’re done with petty issues, but in the immortal words of Janet Jackson, “what have you done for me lately?”

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It was actually easier finding a disapproval chart than it was an approval chart

While some may think we are more divided and weaker than ever before, I think as Americans, this is the start of something amazing. Americans are more educated, caring, and socially conscious than ever before. Just like the 60’s and 70’s were a difficult and divisive time that ended in a huge leap forward in civil rights and American identity, I think this is an amazing opportunity to take the next step. We’ve seen our first black President, we’ve seen women march the streets, and we’ve seen a generation of young adults stand up for one another against oppression. This is the time for unification, ironically against the system that has given rise to it’s own crumbling. So thanks everyone, your stunning display of ignorance and intolerance has spurred the common people to unify against you.

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