Living Madison’s Nightmare

Sunday, April 24th, I caught an exceptional interview on a global, international news-station that I found utterly resounding and spot-on with America’s recent dumbing-down of internet consumers. The interviewee was Johnathan Haidt, an American social psychologist, author, and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University Stern School of Business. Haidt also wrote an exceptional article on this subject for The Atlantic Magazine which I found poignantly true called, Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid: It’s not just a phase. He examines the uncanny similarity of an ancient Jewish biblical story with what James Madison, in 1786-1787 in Federalist No. 10, feared most about our Republic Democracy’s vulnerable, fragile Achilles’ Heel:

The story of Babel is the best metaphor I have found for what happened to America in the 2010s, and for the fractured country we now inhabit. […]

Babel is a metaphor for what some forms of social media have done to nearly all of the groups and institutions most important to the country’s future—and to us as a people.

jonathan haidt – The atlantic, april 2022

Jonathan Haidt further explains, the top five behemoth ‘Social-media companies [at the time] brought web-connected Americans into enhanced virality by 2009 to 2012 and deep into Madison’s nightmare.’ Madison’s prophetic knowledge of human nature was:

…the innate human proclivity toward “faction,” by which he meant our tendency to divide ourselves into teams or parties that are so inflamed with “mutual animosity” that they are “much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to cooperate for their common good.”

jonathan haidt – the atlantic, april 2022

I have written a few blog-posts about this very topic and how it is a mystery to me, that ordinary internet-browsers seem to contract all too often Critical-thinking Amnesia once they get on social-media sites or the sensationalizing tabloid-news platforms known for conspiracy-theories and ill-repute, let alone spreading blatant misinformation. Suddenly their ability to think independently, question opinions or claimed facts or ideologies, or to do necessary fact-checking… just vanishes! Is it because we all desire confirmation bias? Are we afraid of what the real facts will be, challenging our tiny comfort-zones? Where did our U.S role-models and 1776 motto of E Pluribis Unum go?

A quick list of those posts before I continue to The Atlantic’s link to Jonathan Haidt’s article…

In a November 2019 issue of The Atlantic, Haidt wrote another equally exceptional article with Tobias Rose-Stockwell called The Dark Psychology of Social Networks: Why it feels like everything is going haywire. There is a link from the first Haidt webpage to this one with Rose-Stockwell. I highly recommend both articles, in any order.

But gradually, social-media users became more comfortable sharing intimate details of their lives with strangers and corporations. As I wrote in a 2019 Atlantic article with Tobias Rose-Stockwell, they became more adept at putting on performances and managing their personal brand—activities that might impress others but that do not deepen friendships in the way that a private phone conversation will.

Once social-media platforms had trained users to spend more time performing and less time connecting, the stage was set for the major transformation, which began in 2009: the intensification of viral dynamics.

jonathan haidt – the atlantic, april 2022

So here’s the link to Jonathan Haidt’s Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid. When you’ve read it, or both articles, feel free to share your own thoughts, point-of-view, or questions to startup a discussion. Hopefully a discussion of how we can better manage these private social-internet platforms without violating our Constitution’s First Amendment of free-speech—that is…while simultaneously upholding (in the public sectors) the legal accountability and any criminal/civic Accessory charges upon the (free-)speaker or writer. These are called Speech Crimes. After all, it is the latter case that most Americans forget or are ignorant of their own Constitutional laws.

A free-speaker, under our said comprehensive, federal Constitution, must be held responsible for what she/he publicly proclaims. Otherwise, defamation, threats, inciting violence, or obscenities can (and often do) run rampant without consequences. This is, in my opinion, a large untreated cancer that exacerbates our current U.S. sociopolitical stupidity, as Haidt puts it, and fuels our sinking into factions and severe polarization of which Haidt alludes and eerily James Madison foretold.

Live Well – Love Much – Laugh Often – Learn Always

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32 thoughts on “Living Madison’s Nightmare

  1. “… they became much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to cooperate for their common good” — Sums things up pretty darn good, IMO.

    I did not read both articles (TOO MUCH reading), but I did take a look-see at Jonathan’s article related to the stupidity of American life — and what I did read was Spot On!

    Thing is … can any of this be changed? And when one considers the potentiality of Musk acquiring Twitter … and opening the door to you-know-who … is there any way to avoid things going from bad to worse?

    In many ways, what is happening is just another sign of the downward trend of humanity. Yes, there are “good people” still doing “good things,” but it seems their numbers are dwindling. I used to bemoan the thought of “missing out” as I considered my demise. Now? I’m not sure I’m all that unhappy about leaving …

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thing is … can any of this be changed? And when one considers the potentiality of Musk acquiring Twitter … and opening the door to you-know-who … is there any way to avoid things going from bad to worse?

      Changed? Not an easy task, it seems Nan. America’s severe addiction to & dependency on our phones, WiFi-internet, gazillions of phone apps, laptops, the ultra-convenience of streaming-content from some 30-50+ providers, etc, et al, and all of the Information and DISinformation spewed out, unfettered and unchecked—by both insufficient institutions and organizations, and even less so by individual web-consumers—seems too daunting an ask and reform. 😟

      Furthermore, we have way too many unlicensed, non-attorny’d non-Constitutional citizens screaming “violation of freedom of speech/press and expression” that IF internet oversights were begun and enforced also from the REQUIRED speaker’s side of accountability/responsibility standpoint, i.e. Speech Crimes it would seemingly cause a civil war! 😬 And as recent history has shown, the popular movement of erroneous “Carte Blanche freedom of expression,” Trump- & Putin-style and Twitter-Facebook style—that is only half the equation of the First Amendment concept—sadly, disastrously wins out.

      It’s glaringly obvious to me that high school level government, civics, and core Constitutional concepts & application have NOT been adequately taught to students or to adults given U.S. citizenry so as to be well and correctly educated in our Founding documents. This MUST change along with a much higher awareness & utilization of critical-thinking and analysis skills. If not, as I recently heard from Ken Burns’ outstanding series Benjamin Franklin, you get…

      Too much [ignorant] Pluribus, not enough [exemplary] Unum!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yep. just heard it as well. Now it is up to individual Twitter-consumers to apply and/or enforce exactly what I mentioned in my previous reply to your concerns and in this blog-post.

      Along those lines though, a NY state federal judge has ruled that there IS enough evidence to bring Trump to court or else he suffers $10k per day in Contempt of Court! Election 2024 is slipping away more and more for D. Rumpsky, especially now that Mark Meadows has turned over 2,300 text messages to the Jan. 6th Committee and likely will be forced to handover more! Woooohoooo! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Okay. 3 things. So… that means long. But each point relates to and constitutes the whole.

    1) I once mentioned to Nan (when challenged to do so) the the fundamental problem we face is a loss of principle. Well, that didn’t make much if any imprint on anyone because it was too short on specifics and too long on liberalism – individual autonomy – versus identity – group affiliation. Yup, that ‘dead horse’ I’d been flogging for decades. So, from Freddie deBoer today:

    “Politics is about taking moral intuitions and reasoning and using them to craft an ideology from which you derive specific policy positions and arguments. In order to put those into practice you will have to form coalitions, so affiliation is important. But it’s very easy for your group identity to obliterate your principles, as the desire to belong overwhelms your organic beliefs. And I think we’re at a space, in 2022, where the default political identity is almost purely affiliatory.”

    What’s that about? What does he mean ‘affiliatory’? Those with whom we affiliate: “My point is that, one, the level of personal antipathy towards dissidents now is far greater than towards those all the way in the other camp, and two, that these days diversity of opinion doesn’t prompt people to broaden their understanding of who the coalition can include. Just the opposite: perspectives that don’t fit easily into the established groups just result in further fracturing, of more outgroups.”

    In the late 90s, I pointed out that causing offence was the greater crime than any offence being criticized. In other words, Freddie’s point about being harder on the dissidents (those who have left the religion) than those outside the camp (those who were never part of it but just blasphemers) is not new. In fact, it’s a red flag tactic that indicates chauvinism (faithful to one’s own kind – another religious reference to belief in kinds taken onboard the ark) hard at work.

    – – – – – – – – – – – –

    So, these days we tend to base our politics not on shared principles but on social pragmatics: who’s ‘in’ the right group and who’s ‘out’ of the right group. There’s our political affiliation. But consider: there is no faster way to wave away principle (and making ourselves oblivious to our commonalities and shared values) than diving into context before content and claiming this person or that idea is somehow related to an outgroup – a non approved source, the wrong kind of people – and so can be dismissed on that basis alone. (We wouldn’t want to actually listen to or read or take seriously a contrary opinion from one of Them because it causes ‘harm’ I guess… like having to think.) Readers on these blogs you and I share, Prof, do this all the time and almost never are held to account for this dismissive tactic… probably because he or she is one of ‘us’ and nobody wants to rock that boat. (We’ll put aside silence is violence for now… when it serves keeping us on ‘the right side of history’.) Principle, in the meantime, has utterly and completely evaporated in the face of wanting to be a member of the right group affiliation. I see it everyday.

    2) From Gabriel Brown (who is she and what does it matter what she thinks?) attending an acting class and being taught the difference between group identity and playing an associated role:

    “Playing someone—being someone—is not about what you are. What was I in that moment? A student, a daughter, an actor, an Australian-American, a volunteer… None of those things said anything about me—about who I was. It finally dawned on me then that we are more than our groups and titles. We are unique. We are not defined by what we are but who we are, and who we choose to be.”

    What’s the difference? It’s the difference between being an it and being a person. I think that matters.

    Framing the world into groups and hierarchy of power is what is called ‘groupthink’. It traces directly to Marxism which, after multiple historical disasters, morphed by dedicated philosophers into Critical Theory (related not to economics and class like Marxism now but the post modern notion of victims and victimizers based on competing group identities). Groupthink turns us into a ‘what’; character turns us into a ‘who’. Only a ‘who’ can have character, and holding and acting on principles requires character. Groups have no character and so they have no principles but seek only dominance through conflict. Us and Them. Left and Right. Democrat and Republican. Good and Evil. That’s groupthink in action. Principles? Ha! Not even on the horizon. Somehow, in spite of sharing far more values and common interests, we’ve split ourselves into Good Guys and Bad Guys. That’s the prize won by believing in group ideology and identity politics: social and political dysfunction. And the only remedy? Authoritarianism under one ruler.

    – – – – – – – –

    3) The Coddling of the American Mind by Haidt is about teaching kids three great untruths (that we should always trust our feelings, what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker, and life is really all about the battle between good people who share our concerns and bad people who don’t). It allows that these good intentions have led to some very bad ideas. And social media amplifies the worst of them.

    Specifically, he plots the strong correlation between teenage girls’ use of snapchat/instagram and depression (which then strongly correlates with claims of gender dysphoria) which correlates with the 5500% increase by girls since 2012 of girls wishing to transition. And so on. This he says is part of a larger trend dividing people into tribal camps of affiliation (that social media highlights) that leads him to claim that social media as a whole lowers trust in in governments, news media, people, and institutions in general. I don’t think he’s wrong – especially in how twitter and facebook and mainstream media (and their algorithms) promotes extremism and outrage for increasing and profitable traffic – but I don’t think he’s right, either.

    I think the main engine for this growing dysfunction is belief in groups combined with the (religious) assumption that the ideologies are true (but, like religious belief, no means to question them without social vilification). And I think that belief (like any other indoctrination) happens when we teach children that social performance and virtue signaling for social approval is far more important (because it’s safer) than upholding and defending the fundamental principle of Western society, namely, liberalism. That’s hard. That requires courage rarely demonstrated and almost entirely absent from every level of education. It requires principled character to be courageous because it’s a building ideology and not the incredibly easy destructive one like social justice demonstrative groupthink (let’s bomb the village in order to save it). We’ve forgotten and taken for granted how important are the waters of liberalism in which we swim; instead, and in full view, we’re letting it drain away in the name of all kinds of social justice memes so easily called up on social media.

    And, they’re short memes. No thinking required. Just entertainment. And faith, of course. Lot’s of faith.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Tildeb,

      As I think you know, I don’t mind extensive detailed elaboration, nuts-n-bolts of minutia, and earnest extensive time and energy on a topic or issue or conflict. One of my principles most of my life and taught to me by my father was…

      • 1) sufficient assessment of pre-commitment (or not),

      • 2) then 110% commitment to the task of seeing it through to the end, e.g. my family and my Mom’s physical-mental health her remaining years DESPITE the fact I must do it inside a debilitating Red-state such as Texas (principles),

      • 3) do as splendid and as perfect a job as your capacities allow you—give it your all(!), and

      • 4) be prepared and open for necessary modifications based upon good, reliable critiques of progress.

      Geeezzz, it is because I am so stubbornly staunch in my core principles that at 59-yrs I am still single since my divorce in 2002 😄—because 1) I’m still true to myself, 2) I am honest at the expense of hurting the (temporary) feelings of others, even loved ones, 3) I will therefore NOT be ashamed of exactly who I am, not ever, and 4) in one aspect of doing/living numbers 1, 2, and 3, I am not now and will NEVER go back to exclusive, monogamous romantic/lustful or roommate-only relationships… for an over abundant amount of real-life experiences with basic human nature of us Primates, me included.

      I cannot sacrifice any of these personal core principles, ESPECIALLY just to “fit in,” be/feel accepted, or assimilate for the sake of not feeling/being alone. I can’t do it! No matter how many people/women choose to be in that world, that Land of Oz lifestyle that makes me very frequently an outsider… no, I don’t care. I won’t trash my principles! I will die single, lonely, and merely admired or “too different, too risky” before I (n)ever return to disastrous, unfulfilling mediocre SAFETY and later dying with too many regrets of I never did this, I never took a chance, could I have loved more? Could I have become more whole a human being with more impactful, intimate relationships? Nope. NO FREAKIN’ WAY! Ain’t gonna happen! 😄

      So that’s my alignment with your #1 Tildeb, which goes further into personal dynamics with others as well as appropriately outward. It also includes WHY I will most likely always be an Independent (politically), a quasi-Socialist (economically), a Humanist (religiously), and a Bohemian Free-thinker and Alt-life Kinkster (socially). And I am DAYUM PROUD of all four-five of those identifiers! 😉

      I think my above raw description of Dwain the Professor also addresses (in part or full?) your #2 Tildeb. However, I would add THIS to your #2: If someone pushed me for a stereotypical label I didn’t even SLIGHTLY feel comfortable with… I would simply tell them, “I am always first and foremost an Earthling. Period, stop.” And I would not budge from that stance one iota even if they pushed & pushed, or attempted tricks or traps to coerce an answer THEY want. Principles.

      Regarding your #3, I find I’m agreeing with one very large portion of your elaborations, but unsure about agreeing with the other smaller portion. I’ll need 2-3 re-readings of your third “Untruth” before I can spell out that which rang odd to me. And as you know Tildeb, my time-limitations (with my 82-yr old Mom) greatly affect my WordPress engagements, particularly if they include YOUR considered, thoughtful comments my Friend. 🤭 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • All very interesting, but I still don’t see how or why we shouldn’t have among the ways we analyse society, the way in which power structures operate. Long before Marx, Plato wrote extensively on these topics. Aristotle believed slavery was natural. All human history is organised around the way we distribute power and resources. Only property owners could vote. The word of a nobleman was presumed true in court over the word of a plebeian. Macron is opposed by the hard left and the hard right because he is too “bourgeois”. How could we possibly set aside such a massively important aspect of human history, sociology and even anthropology?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Put aside? No. Recognize privilege, sure. See social advantages, yup. Become aware of group biasing, yes. Act on inequality, absolutely. And if one is committed to the principle of equality owned by every human being (let’s call this basic equality all of us share as human ‘rights’ because we expect our rights to be equally respected in return), then privilege has to be justified on this same basis. Equality. Rights. That may seem counterintuitive but is in practice a high bar for discrimination… and it should be. Everything from medical triaging to age of consent, for example. Discrimination becomes the exception.

        In order to shift responsibility for inequality away from me and apply it outwards to someone else, it’s easiest to create an enemy than it is to work and build common solutions. That’s where ideology comes in so handy.

        The first step is to create a Them. And the easiest way to do this is to believe in groups… and then assign individuals into groups of Us and Them accordingly. Easy peasy. We aren’t responsible for inequality: they are. The belief resides in the assignment, that the assignment (usually based on selected characteristics) is firstly true and secondly encompassing (which works where discrimination and privilege has this high bar but doesn’t work where it pushes aside common rights).

        Of course, such belief is rarely the case in fact. In ideological terms like Marxism, for example, there is no recognition someone can be both proletariat AND bourgeoisie; in Critical Theory, there is no recognition that someone can be both victim and victimizer in and amongst the same group. The group framing doesn’t allow for it because the imported borders to create the grouping to begin with simply disintegrates once the borders are removed! And we can’t have that and expect the group based ideology to survive.

        So the next step, which then gets even easier to implement once the belief is groups is accepted, responsibility shifted, and its critics silenced, marginalized, and vilified, is to then differentiate by treatment/practice and privilege the ingroup on this membership (assignment) basis.

        The third step – let’s call it the final solution, shall we? – is to remove the individual humanity from the members of the selected outgroup so that ‘they’ can be treated by ‘us’ as the things – the cogs of the group – that we believe they really are (the things they have become in our own minds by the use and acceptance of the belief in these groups). Hence, just following orders becomes a legitimate defense once our agency in believing in the groups as if real is denied.

        Reality is so much messier. Once we give up individuals as the base unit in our society and insert groups, authoritarianism and the loss of individual rights are the guaranteed results.

        Liked by 1 person

        • …it’s easiest to create an enemy than it is to work and build common solutions.

          On the emphasized part Tildeb, you reminded me of one of my favorite, prolific examples of just that… putting (forcing little choice?) opponents/enemies together vis-à-vis to find solutions together and they cannot leave until compromised give-n-take are accomplished. A video illustrating exactly this, breaking down presumed notions of “Them vs. Us”:

          Like

          • What immediately breaks down when people have to work together is belief in groups as if real things and the individuals who constitute them only cogs. Once that breaks down and we see and hear the Other individual as another version of Us generally and Me in particular (because we share FAR more in common than the differences between us), that’s when human potential in social activities can start to be realized. That’s how towers of Babel are built, using Haidt’s analogy.

            But really, anyone in sports should understand this concept perfectly well where cooperative play towards a competitive goal produces a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts (unity, e pluribus unum in Madisonspeak) and which yields far greater success and accomplishment than any one individual no matter how talented. The same is true to build anything worthwhile – including the village’s roll in raising a child: a common goal based on our common values that each child matters and not the one in the ‘correct’ group.

            More importantly, we seem to have collectively forgotten that the reverse is true, too. Pulling back, dumbing down, staying quiet, going along to get along, discarding principle for pragmatism, believing in divisive ideology, getting one’s own, these are the forces on Sisyphus’ rock. Our task is to push uphill and not use achieving the summit as our only measure of success.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Ahh, when you mentioned “…anyone in sports” it clicked for me, and continuing, “should understand this concept perfectly well where cooperative play towards a competitive goal produces a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts (unity, e pluribus unum in Madisonspeak).” Yes! And this: “discarding principle for pragmatism” I TOTALLY get!

              Agree completely with all this Tildeb because I’ve seen it work brilliantly firsthand in my sports career. 🙂 👍🏻

              Liked by 1 person

        • I like how you’ve framed it now, this makes sense. The way it was ordered before looked like a torso missing its limbs. So if we put our cards on the table, is the real problem that society is less capable of accepting hierarchy as a reality?

          Liked by 1 person

    • Okay Tildeb, after re-reading your #3 point above, I’m struggling with making heads or tails about your sub-#1 within #3. You state that Haidt coddles our American minds by promoting…

      “3.1 – Always trust our feelings”

      I’m not making that connection when Haidt says in this April 2022 article:

      The [further & further] tweaked platforms [became] perfectly designed to bring out our most moralistic and least reflective selves. The volume of outrage was shocking.

      It was just this kind of twitchy and explosive spread of anger that James Madison had tried to protect us from as he was drafting the U.S. Constitution. The Framers of the Constitution were excellent social psychologists. They knew that democracy had an Achilles’ heel because it depended on the collective judgment of the people, and democratic communities are subject to “the turbulency and weakness of unruly passions.” The key to designing a sustainable republic, therefore, was to build in mechanisms to slow things down, cool passions, require compromise, and give leaders some insulation from the mania of the moment while still holding them accountable to the people periodically, on Election Day.

      Is not Haidt referencing Madison’s worst fear for an American Republic Democracy “by [building] in mechanisms to slow things down, cool passions, require compromise, and give leaders some insulation from the mania of the moment” [and volatile emotions]? Did I miss somewhere in the two articles or forget Haidt wrote something along the lines of your interpretation of him promoting “Always trust our feelings”? His quote above seems to me to promote the opposite of trust our feelings. Help me with my confusion here.

      More (apparent?) Haidt promotion…

      “3.2 – what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker”

      I’m a bit lost here. I don’t understand what you mean and I couldn’t locate where Haidt promoted this. Perhaps I totally missed it. Clearly I need direct (quoting?) help with this one. 😄

      And given that just examining & discussing these two sub-points, #3.1 and #3.2 in such depth, I should probably wait on asking you about #3.3 until we are done with 3.1 and .2, yes? We’ll tackle that one later given my own time-restraints at home with my Mom. 😉

      Like

      • In his book The Coddling of the American Mind, Haidt says (I’m paraphrasing because it’s been a few years) parents and teachers are making a mistake teaching kids what is NOT true. One of the ‘great’ untruths he mentions is this wrong-headed idea to teach kids to trust one’s feelings over and above all other considerations. IIRC (as I said, it’s been a while) , he mentions parents and teachers and entertainment and the arts elevating this bad idea, this central role of trusting feelings, to then guide and direct rationality, to determine right and wrong, to be the baseline against which intrusive and disturbing whatever should be measured… as in the effect of such teaching is to validate kids ‘feelings’ to be paramount, that a kid’s feelings of, say, being offended, should then trump in importance, in consideration, whatever is ‘causing’ the discomfort… be it words or people or institutions. Haidt is saying that we’re teaching kids that ‘whatever’ should not be said BECAUSE it ’causes’ offense, and causing hurt feelings is just about the Very Worst Crime In The World. Hence, the coddling.

        Take this coddling, and introduce social media to an entire generation raised on this pap. Haidt explains why this form of performance media amplifies the worst and most extreme elements and presents it – mob-like – to people who think feelings matters more than facts. Hence, social dysfunction and partisanship raised to the nth degree. And look at how being offended has created a new branch of academia: searching for and cleansing history of those dastardly dead white men whose words and deeds in today’s awakened sensitivities cause offense! Oh no! Time to perform! Tear down the statue, raise the fist, change the name! Don’t think; just feel the outrage and go with it! Impose justice! Revel in the virtue of the performance! (Who cares a smoking hulk of a once great civilization stripped bare of principle is left in the wake of this hyperbolic ‘woke’ idiocy?)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah! Now I see what I mistook. I thought you were saying that Jonathan Haidt was teaching, promoting the coddling. But you’ve further clarified that you meant that PARENTS and TEACHERS are doing the coddling. Plus, I only realistically had time to read the main April 2022 article and Haidt’s Nov. 2019 article, not the book. That probably explains my confusion. Thank you for laying it all out so well Sir. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh, perhaps a fabulous Stephen Colbert satirical “Truthy-ness”? He does have an incredible talent for revealing the extreme far-right’s intentional ability to make everything partisan, a do-or-die conflict, and violating their individual’s ME-ME-ME Prima-donna rights, while completely ignoring the other operative half of the laws & spirits of our Republic democratic, sanctified, Secular documents that our six (6) core Founding Fathers established!

      Everyone LOVES a good satirical comedy, right? I have a long list of my own favorites, but two I’ve discovered was Dave (Kevin Klein) or Veep (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) that could be easily tweaked for the circus that is this decade’s internet-social-media laughable propaganda. Yes, as ridiculous as it might sound, it would be a clear hit to mainstream American audiences/consumers. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pink, in my opinion way too many Americans (of a specific demographic) honestly think in their own delusional reality that our Constitution, Amendments, and the full letter of those First Amendment laws/rights only apply to ONE SIDE of the free-speech, freedom of press, freedom of expression concept, i.e. all the rights & laws favor heavily the speaker/writer with Carte Blanche. We see this lop-sided favoritism in political election campaigns especially!

        The other side of this coin is that Speech Crimes get almost no attention, much less prosecuted or heard in courts… unless of course there is tons of money to be won from a wealthy person or corporation—e.g. Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard (2022), or Matal v. Tam (2017), Beauharnais v. Illinois (1942), or Snyder v. Phelps (2011). Hence, the average layperson American wrongly thinks that speakers—on public property, not private—have unfettered freedom to say whatever they want, whenever, and however they wish. According to the explicit & implicit rule of law in our First Amendment, that simply isn’t true. Period. Yet, our courts let it slide all too much. Granted, it is a gargantuan task to monitor & enforce or protect every single citizens’ (less so big corporations) expressions and hate speech or blatant disinformation as it is to protect the victims of it. I mean, look what our previous 45th President got away with constantly, and still does!!! 🤦‍♂️

        Liked by 2 people

      • P.S. Ugh, Pink… if common decency and respect in public speech for fellow Americans—even the ones you disagree with on private social-media platforms—isn’t extinct already, we are damn sure headed quickly to its extinction, particularly if PRIVATE social-media platforms do NOT want to help protect both sides of the First Amendment coin! It must be both sides or this monster will become radioactive toxic and destroy more lives. Guaranteed.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Eh, some more so than others. I suspect you are once again projecting your world-views upon me. Not wise my faith-based friend.

      As an ardent Humanist Earthling, I don’t search for multiple ways to go out and divide or seperate or raise myself above my fellow human beings… as TOO MANY faith-based Christians (or Christologists) do. It is only when I’m approached and challenged by Evangelical-Fundamentalist Christians/Christologists that I must DEFEND my (God-given?) right to be unconventional, secular, and in their eyes a heathen that I must always explain/defend MY reasons why I NO LONGER believe in their/your way of life. And believe you me, I know extensively what your “divisive group” believes. But that doesn’t make it 100% or 50% true. 🙂 Hence, I feel much pity and sadness for Christologists who wrongly call themselves Christians.

      Liked by 1 person

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