This week, as we continue our look at how we are being sucked further from sanity while our corporate and political overlords play with our minds, we will look at another false martyr. This one is not in sports or a corporation, but the world of Politics.
“This is about the closest I’ll probably ever have in my life to an ‘I am Spartacus’ moment.” – Cory Booker
Senator Cory Booker threatened (and followed through) to release confidential documents regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s views on racial profiling. Two problems:
1 – The emails had been cleared for release.
2 – The emails showed Judge Kavanaugh is not in favour of racial profiling.
But this didn’t stop media and followers on both sides from following the lie that these documents were confidential, or that Booker is in fact, not Spartacus. He’s just another grandstanding politician saying crazy things to get attention and hoping he doesn’t get busted.
And this is why I write so much about the dangers of accepting style over substance. There are still people out there who believe Booker is a hero for his actions, and that Kaepernick has in fact sacrificed everything. Neither are true. There are also people who believe President Trump, who lives in the White House, and has billions of dollars has sacrificed everything for the country as well, this isn’t just a left thing, this is a society thing. We have to get over this.
We have to not just want truth, we have to be relentless in our desire for it. We have to dig, learn, and be open. We cannot trust the media to tell us the truth, and most people watch the “news” to have opinions confirmed, not learn new perspectives. We have to question what Nike gains from giving a failing football player millions of dollars (unprecedented advertising ROI?). We have to ask what a politician can gain by feigning courage and integrity (Presidential run?). We have to ask what motivates the behaviors. I wrote about this a little more here.
“Men (people) are rarely aware of the real reasons which motivate their actions.” – Edward Bernays
Above all else, we have to ask what motivates us. Why do we allow ourselves to believe some of the things we hear and read? How do we get wrapped up in a false argument? What happened that we can believe a millionaire has given everything for a cause? How do we justify the lies of a politician in the party we support, but attack those of the “other side”, even if it’s the same lie? In the next article we will look at some ideas on how we can “Fake News Proof” our minds, but we must be prepared to let go of some things we may hold dear, and accept things we don’t like.
Here are the three takeaways for today:
1 – Question everything. Always.
2 – Manage the emotion. If you follow people on social media who don’t cite sources, talk more about what they are against than for, and shout instead of explain, they aren’t good for your mind.
3 – Pick any argument or discussion – You don’t have to pick a side. You can switch sides. You can like parts from both sides. It’s OK to break from the herd and question yourself.
We are living in a world where people believe what they see on the surface. If someone with a high-profile seems to be taking a risk for a cause, they will be heroes. It doesn’t even matter if the risk is real anymore, supporters will believe it. Seek to uncover something new today and ask the question “Why?”