Essay,  Pop Culture

Outrage Addicts Smoking the Media Pipe

Whenever anyone finds out I support Trump the first thing they do is start lobbing attacks at me. From “How can you support someone who mocks the disabled” to “He wants to have sex with his daughter!”

First of all, It’s completely unacceptable and uncivil to approach people you respect and ask them to “DEFEND” completely indefensible actions. I can’t. And I wouldn’t. I shouldn’t be asked to, because I shouldn’t be asked to defend things that are inventions of the imagination, twists of the narrative meant to feed mass addiction to outrage.

To approach me with this question is manipulative. FACT: If you do this, you are being manipulative and a bully. If I begin to respond, I’m seen as DEFENDING something I would not ever defend. If I don’t respond, I’m accused of giving my implicit support in my silence. Either way, I lose. I’m the terrible person.

It is gross behavior to set your “friend” (I question this) or anyone up to losing battle either way they answer.

In dating, this is called a shit test. It’s a trap that you can’t win. And this is why I refuse to engage with most people who come at me with aggressive, accusing, baiting questions.

Total waste of my time and emotional energy.

But, if you happen to be one of the people who is not completely addicted to outrage and feeling indignant, then maybe you will take the time to read this article and watch the videos.

If anything, it is revealing in showing how the media purposefully spins information to get exactly the reaction out of the audience it wants. The stills, the memes, the horror!

Trump does make himself an easy target, I admit. He’s expressive. He doesn’t just stand there reading from a script. He’s not polished.

As Mike Pence said at the rally in Raleigh, NC; “He’s not a politician, he’s a doer, not a talker. Sometimes the words don’t come out right.”

As someone who also has a very expressive, dramatic face and body language, I’m glad people are videotaping me all day long and looking for ways to manipulate my image and words to serve their own purpose. I don’t think a single one of us would last long under this kind of manipulative scrutiny.

If you are eager to believe it, you will. This is confirmation bias. You will find what you are looking for. And a lot of people are eating it up. We all love to have someone to hate. It’s human nature. And in this incredibly politically correct world where we are supposed to love and accept absolutely everyone and tolerate everything even bad and criminal behavior because they may not have had the same opportunities as everyone else, we get REALLY excited to find and EASY target.

Take for example Roosh V.  who wrote a poorly phrased satirical article on preventing rape and was then called a “rape advocate” in the press and hounded relentlessly online, in the papers and in real life until he was attacked in public and his family put at risk. Yes, this happened. The press KNOWS we love to hate an enemy. I watched many many of my friends on Facebook repost the article for weeks slandering this man. I read all your outrage commentary “omg he’s evil and he’s a rape advocate!” Really?

I knew for a fact none of you read the original piece. And I knew I couldn’t say anything without being accused of being a rape apologist. So, I waited it out. It was pointless to defend. Defending against someone’s trip on outrage is an emotionally exhausting waste of time. You just let it die down. Let people rant themselves to sleep.

We love to have a target. We get high on hate. Find us an easy target and we will eat it up. The media loves to feed you hits off the outrage pipe. The addiction level is epidemic and so easy to feed.  They look to publications that give them the easiest fixes (Huffington Post, CNN, Salon, etc). They look for any slip of the tongue to take a hit.

“I know he didn’t SAY people should assassinate Clinton, but IT COULD BE INTERPRETED THAT WAY.”

We all know that things are open to interpretation. We all are aware of spin, right? It’s the car accident effect. Every witness gives a slightly different accident report. It has to do with perspective, information, timing. We accept this when we are giving some people the benefit of the doubt but don’t feel it necessary to extend that same courtesy to anyone who might not suit our personal agenda and agree with us. We definitely don’t extend it if we might get a hit off our outrage pipe at their expense!

Like any addict, those addicted to outrage will find ways to rationalize and justify their addiction:

  1. “He doesn’t even WANT to be president.”
  2. “He’s Hitler!”
  3. “He’s just doing this for ratings!”
  4. “He’s in bed with Putin!”

These claims are meant to justify the glee one feels in unfairly attacking someone because if it were anyone else, it would not be right. It would be bullying. But since he is the “perfect target” it’s okay. Get carried away even. Jump on the nearest pile on. He DESERVES it.

Being able to listen to a speaker without reacting emotionally and looking for triggers is called maturity. Being able to appreciate that there can be multiple interpretations and ways of seeing something is called discernment.  The media lacks maturity and discernment. And so do many of their readers.

Trump is an easy target. Not only is he unpolished and off the cuff, but he has entire media empires making money off your outrage.

I personally like people who aren’t polished. It’s easier to trust someone who isn’t perfect because I’m not perfect and suspect no one is.  People who are polished can also be slick. Give me gritty. Give me uncensored. I’ll even take an asshole who says the wrong thing but means it over a slick con artist who says all the right things but means none of it. Let’s get real.

So, if you are skeptical (some say I have trust issues, I prefer skeptical) you might be the kind of person to assume there’s more than one side to every story and look for more information before making up your mind.

If you are also “skeptical”, then you might appreciate this article “The True Story: Donald Trump Did Not Mock a Reporter’s Disability”. If you just want to be outraged, move along to the Huffington post and Salon to get your fix. I won’t play.

What would happen if we weren’t all so outraged and indignant all the time? Can you imagine? Maybe we would stop pointing fingers and attacking each other and actually start talking about the problems in this country and how we might address them. Maybe we could join together to improve our communities instead of burning them down. Unfortunately,  I don’t see that happening. Those conversations are HARD. Getting in fights is easy … and addictive.


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