I am an avid consumer of news. I stick mainly to local news because many of the events and happenings that affects us directly tend to happen at the local level.
I am not a fan of national network news outlets, like CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC. In fact, most news sources, including local news media, have distinct and recognizable biases designed to appeal and cater to political ideologies. If you ask a conservative whether the media leans left or right, they will tell you all mainstream media leans left, and this includes (at times) Fox News.
People like having what they consider their deeply held beliefs reflected in the media they choose to consume. The media companies know this and adjust their content accordingly.
Of course, “deeply held beliefs” are often shaped by collectivism, ergo, they seldom require thought. And therein lies the problem…
I wrote about “the 5% vs the 95%” before, the premise of this observation of society being that most people (the 95%) do not engage in deep, meaningful, critical, or productive thought. The empirical evidence certainly suggests success or failure is largely determined by our individual willingness to think and exercise sound logic, not just satisfy and reinforce our feelings and beliefs.
This all-too-human penchant for tribalism, conformity, and confirmation bias is the basis upon which divide and conquer tactics are built.
The 5% tend to rise above such petty things as political ideologies, social movements (like Black Lives Matter), and self-serving and dangerous movements (like white supremacy movements). As the John Burroughs quote states, the 5% resolve to rise above the little things.
The “little things” do not seem little to the 95% of us who do not think. Life is all about the choices we make and those choices are not always easy. Life is not always easy. It is not supposed to be easy.
In fact, life is necessarily difficult at times. Unlike other creatures that roam the Earth, humankind’s most powerful tool is the capacity for conscious and conscientious thought. Most of Earth’s creatures operate almost purely on instinct. This is not to suggest that humans do not have instincts, we most certainly do, and we operate on instinct to a greater degree than most of us are willing to admit to. However, the ability to override our base instincts to serve a greater, higher purpose makes us unique in the animal kingdom.
Unfortunately, as hopelessly flawed creatures, we human beings tend to conflate what is in our perceived personal best interests with what is in our perceived collective best interests. And therein lies the problem…
-The Rational Ram