I feel about it the same way I did when I was told I had cancer.
There has been a complete breakdown of critical thinking skills in America. I saw it in my high school library, when I was 15, actively struggling with the idea that some of my classmates couldn’t identify a primary source. Sixteen years later, they still can’t. And there are so, so many of them. People who have never passed the basic reading comprehension test of discerning factual information from opinion. It’s legitimately terrifying to note how many people are so completely under-educated, and vote accordingly.
To be fair, there are also those formally educated people among us who believe in their own cognition so strongly that they don’t bother to investigate claims, and who, when it comes down to it, also can’t identify primary sources or vet information. There has never been a greater need for education — for more people, for all people — if America is going to proceed into the 21st century without veering off the jagged cliff of history.
This has been a devastatingly horrible blow to anyone with a modicum of talent for basic reasoning.
Even so, I cannot for the life of me understand why someone with a disabled son would vote for a man who publicly mocks the disabled; why women would vote for a man who claims a right to their bodies, who is an accused rapist, an absolutely disgusting misogynist relic; why someone with capitalist leanings would vote for a man who tanks the stock market on the first day following his election, and whose economic plans have been found to be soundly disastrous by economists, whose proposed tax cuts will only benefit the handful of people in his own socio-economic class; why someone with anti-immigration isolationist fascism in their blood would vote for a man whose wife speaks broken English and worked illegally in this country prior to attaining a work visa; why anyone with growing insurance premiums would vote for someone who desires to deregulate industries in such a way that will eliminate the existing checks and balances in our bloated, despicable for-profit healthcare system. Anyone who voted for this bumbling ignoramus does not deserve the society their forebears have created for them.
This has been a devastatingly horrible blow to anyone with a modicum of talent for basic reasoning. But this is not the end of our tale. Not yet. It’s up to the experts to reestablish their expertise, and up the the press, the pundits, and the social media stars to back them. It’s up to those of us with a voice, to now speak out with all the objective passion of lost facts and forgotten truths that have until now lay dormant in the train wreck that was the 2016 Presidential race. It’s up to those who can be heard, and heard loudly, to lead the push for education reform, to advocate for better quality of information, to dissolve ignorance and disband the strongholds of prejudice. We do this by refusing to tolerate misinformation and by alerting the clickbait reactionaries to the fact that the jig is up. The polarization of information may have increased in the decades since the Internet has pervasively invaded our national body politic, but the objective nature of reality remains. Facts about science, industry, economics, race, religion, gender, and creed will exist regardless of how partisan outlets choose to portray them.
It’s time to call on America, as a whole, to grow into an educated, worthy collective that is prepared and able to discern and identify truths and falsehoods, and who can, at the very least, avoid ever considering an absolute monster for the highest office in the global arena ever, ever, ever again.