Rantz: Outrage fatigue has set in … at the wrong time
Everything can’t be an outrage. Even if you’re personally experiencing outrage every moment of your life after every action taken by President Donald Trump, everything can’t be deemed outrage worthy of protests and sit-ins and teach-ins and chants.
I say this not because I don’t sometimes share the outrage, but because I fear when both sides of the aisle may agree that something is outrageous, too many people will stop listening because it’ll be drowned in whatever outrage you just expressed. My fear is that when we should have a legitimate debate, we’ll become annoyed and shut down instead because no one wants to hear your holier-than-thou chants filled with hyperbole and constant reminders of how much more evolved on the issues you are.
I believe in debating issues — vigorously. All issues, especially the ones I’m personally most passionate about. That’s how change is enacted; you present your point, you listen to the other side, you debate some more and you win people over to your side (or you strengthen your own position). Through that, you enact change. But shouting in a group of like-minded people doesn’t accomplish debate; it’s the antithesis of debate.
Over the weekend, at airports in some of the most liberal of cities, there were protests. More protests. Again … protests. Don’t you wonder why those same levels of protests aren’t happening outside of the most liberal of cities? Why no meaningful protests in Topeka or Orange City and Colorado Springs or Spokane? Some of you will cast them aside as “red cities” that are bigoted because they don’t agree with you, and you can take that silly position if you’d like. But how will that truly enact the change you say you want?
Your strategy of calling out every single action isn’t working. The attitude of protests from safe-spaces with like-minded activists isn’t working. Your homemade sign, no matter how clever you think it is, isn’t working. Your ardent defense of the most hypersensitive of feelings isn’t working. Your hyperbolic chants that misunderstand fascism aren’t working.
How do I know what you’re doing isn’t working? The country just elected Donald Trump, that guy you fought so hard against by protesting, chanting and conducting teach-ins. You can cry about the popular vote win all you want but that’s not how elections work; don’t act surprised. And according to the Hill, “Republicans control nearly 1,000 more legislative seats than they did when Obama took office. The Republican share of state legislative seats has grown from just under 44 percent in 2009 to 56 percent.”
You keep failing to bring people to your side where it matters the most and you keep doing the same things over and over again. And we all fail. Yes, all of us, because when you fail to start real debates where you actively hear the other side, and when you fail to elect politicians to take on your views, one side gains power and you can shout until you lose your voice, their policies get through.
I don’t want one party in power — including the one I identify with. That almost always ends badly. It’s an affront to ideological diversity and power corrupts. So I have skin in the game every time you fail at your efforts. I want healthy, civil debates everywhere from Congress to local city councils. So, please, actually do something to promote that rather than get together to tell each other how much better you are than the rest of the country. We’ll all be better served.