Among the many comments on this site’s Facebook page regarding President Biden’s press conference was the one from Jim Miller Jr. from Comstock, Michigan. His words might even be the epitome of the way the far-right communicates and thinks.
“A complete disgrace, well and least we are giving the rest of the world a good laugh, and they see how weak joe is…”
I responded that “he was strong enough to send the self-admitted sexual predator, and three-time married, porn-loving sex-paying, tax-evading grifter off to pasture…..he is my type of ‘weak guy’!”
The comments from Trump supporters and conservatives regarding the conference proved that political tribalism is very much alive. Even when the facts, words, and sights from the White House clearly demonstrated the opposite of what they say and purport to think. It is as if they were not even watching the same live feed from the East Room of the White House as the rest of the nation.
I have watched these types of press conferences since President Ford was in office. I know many of my readers can say much the same. We know what took place this week was akin to what this nation has long known, with the exception of the distance between reporters due to the pandemic. Therefore, it was most refreshing to see and hear the substance of the questions and responses, the decorum, the respect for the process of reporters doing their job, and the President his. There was no bombast, crude remarks, or asking a person of color in the press to set up a meeting with the same skin-toned people in Congress.
Apart from the comments at the start of this post I have, over time, attempted to have a dialogue with some FB readers who I felt were able or willing to engage in ideas. I have learned, however, that too many have one salvo in their keyboard and no factual basis on which to have made it. Social media is not a college classroom with fact-based reasoning grounding it. My Caffeinated Politics FB page is at least a decade old and what I see, more than not from conservatives bodes horribly for those liberals and moderates who think having a rational discussion with anyone on the far right is possible.
I have tried over the past number of years, through books and conversations, to understand what has happened to a sizable segment of the nation who discarded facts and let political anger chart their path. Anger with the Chinese, Brown people at the border, transgenders, anger at ‘the other’. I have no more real insight about why that happened now than when I started my attempt to learn. The only constant in my time with this subject is the growing sense of how many of these conservatives and Trump supporters are lacking self-awareness.
In my world, and throughout the pages of history which I love to read, one truth is most pronounced. Political discussion requires reasoned discourse. When there is no way to connect with facts, or logic it becomes impossible to have a conversation. And in a republic that is potentially dangerous to our very governing foundation.
And so it goes.