It’s About the Outrage Game

So this is now how we do things in America…

A lunatic goes into a school and kills fourteen students and three adults. The country is horrified. And rightfully so.

A group of young articulate students from this tragedy emerge to protest the gun situation in this country and get backing from mostly undisclosed sources that have influence and power. The students are very poised, impressive. How could they not be? They’ve went through things that none of us could imagine. Now, they’ve become the face of a movement…a movement that those same sources behind them, the ones that have power and influence seem to prevent any involvement from other student advocates who have dissenting views on gun control.

The mainstream media — which are largely composed of highly educated left leaning white people from urban areas and on the west coast — eat this up. The vast majority of the news and cultural media are heavily for gun control. All of this helps the anti-gun cause.

It’s been perfectly orchestrated. As, in many ways, it should have been.

Some on the right start start going after these students in ways that hard core partisans can be. Viscous, classless. Attacking teenagers who saw other teenagers get gunned down. Teens who very likely had that youthful innocence and enthusiasm. Many others on the right cowardly defend this.

A few of the students, while being overall poised, start to go a little too far. Meaning, their stridency is causing them to lose their effectiveness as they seem arrogant. That’s because, at least one, David Hogg IS arrogant. He’s likely caught in the moment. He’s been put on a pedestal. And he’s instantly become a national spokesman. Every comment, every tweet, every THING he does is going to by examined by some on the right who want to attack him. The left (of course) doesn’t realize this because they want to trash the right and those who are strongly for gun rights. The adoring media starts to realize this but the student’s “handlers” don’t because they may well be would-be left wing autocrats. And hard left advocates watching are too caught up in their own hate to temper their own stridency.

So Hogg goes on and on and — to no surprise — right wing talking heads like Laura Ingraham start attacking him in classless ways because that’s what we do now in this country. We shy away from talking about issues an go after people personally. In fact, most of us prefer that. Why bother having civil debate?

Hogg is doing this as well. He no long talks. He makes announcements.

One of those announcements is a call for a boycott of Ingraham’s sponsors. So sponsors bolt her show. They don’t need this. They have to protect their brand. I get that. I’m in advertising and PR.

Ingraham sees this as well and tries to sanctimoniously fall back onto Holy Week to get out of the situation. Oops, I apologize because I don’t want to lose money and…in honor of Jesus. But Jesus didn’t call for us to be nice for only one week of the year.

In the meantime, Hogg, whose head in now the size of Trump’s, continues.

All this does is create more division and, ironically, more diversion from the issues that Hogg and his backers hold dear. We’re now lobbing bombs at one another about a battle between a second rate right wing pundit and a traumatized teenager who can push too hard in some directions as he struggles to handle the spotlight.

And it shows me two things:

1) I can’t stand hard right wing talking heads.

2) I’m leery of left wing would be autocrats who seek to prevent dissent from their views from becoming legitimate.

You could switch the above ideologies. They just fit this situation.

This is how we do it in this country. It’s no longer about 17 dead people. Or how we deal with mental health. Or the availability of guns. Or school safety. Or the principles behind the second amendment.

Or, most importantly in my book: why some people want to kill and what we could do to address that.

But nope. It’s not about any of that. That’s why we don’t really address issues in this country.

It’s about the outrage game.

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