Thursday, March 30, 2023

It should have never gotten to where it feels familiar...

This is a political post.  

The usual Mass Shooting cycle : Outrage - Generous use of the phrase "thoughts and prayers" followed by indicating it's far too soon to discuss anything other than grieving - denial and deflection - next major news event....

And this week's major news event was a doozy.

It used to be relatively easy to do political commentary. Well, easier than it is now. The cycle for issues that need to be addressed has reduced from weeks to days, sometimes hours. There used to be time to research a bit and craft a cogent, intelligent comment that maybe someone would read and gain a bit of new perspective. But then when I started this, and even as recently as a few years ago, things seemed much slower. I'm not naive, this stuff as always happening somewhere, it's just now with new media instead of just happening we get to hear about it. I almost miss the days of three channels and PBS. 

Step 3: Denial

The shooting, as all events of this nature are, was tragic. And almost immediately that now familiar cycle started. Video I shouldn't have watched, images of distraught mother, distraught children, etc. But it's not quite the same as before, as local conservative politicians hot to serve their base couldn't get a handle on DENIAL this time through. I wasn't sure if it was an actual total lack of empathy or just a failure to understand how media works, but they started saying the quiet parts out loud. If I was even a amateur political hack the focus of all my ad campaigns would the use of the phrase "We're not going to fix it" to batter all conservatives and their issues, from inflation to education, banking to crime. I'm just saying, they're serving up softballs here.

Then we stalled again at DEFLECTION, when the conservative media discovered that the shooter identified as trans. The outpouring of madness that ensued was as though a spigot of hate had been thrown wide open and then the handle broken off. Suddenly the tragedy was transformed into "an attack on Christianity" and proof that right wing efforts at the state level to end trans as a concept were just plain valid. Incorrect memes appeared and every mass shooter ever was apparently trans so now something needed to be done. Not ban guns - or even assault rifles - but something else. I had to stop reading when I saw someone suggest putting trans people in "camps" on one social media site. Camps? And we're arguing that kids need a sanitized version of history? Because that is a suggestion that should have set off alarms upon conception, much less been shared. I am sickened and horrified of what we are becoming.

Then, a moment we never thought would happen came to pass...Cheato got indicted. 

From the Washington Post

I'll be honest, I was in the I won't believe it until I see him an slightly more orange jumpsuit crowd, but this is farther than we've ever gotten before. Bragg ain't playin' with him, even tricked him into praising the Grand Jury when he thought Bragg was going to send them on vacay for a month. Owch.

But Cheato is another story. Our focus should be on the shooting, the new seemingly never ending violence and what we can do now to turn the tide. I understand protesters disrupted the Tennessee legislature today - not stormed as was reported. There was a lot of singing. I hope it soothed an aching soul or two.

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