Unlearned lessons from High School

When a commentator on a national news network calls the doctor that was murdered a baby killer or something akin to that prior to his murder, he gives permission to the paranoid ego-weak crazy to go ahead and seek revenge for all those murdered babies. In fact that nut just declared victory because the clinic will not reopen.    What people “read” and/or see on TV reinforces what they believe to be true about the world. The social reason for civil discourse is precisely to refrain from giving permission to the disabled mind. Why else did Hitler spend so much energy on internal propaganda; why else do companies spend millions on advertising, all designed to give permission to our impulses for gratification, whether or not we want to blame “others” for our despair, or buy a new car to take us out of it. Most people look outside of themselves to “cultural heroes” for the authority and permission to believe what they want to believe and to take the obscene action they want to take.
I rail against the “high school” mentality because that is the time of life when we are trying on different roles, and looking for different belonging relationships, and really trying to learn what that is all about. But the truth about adolescence is its overwhelming vulnerability to feeling “left out”. And one of the overlooked lessons to be learned at that time is how to live while feeling “left out” and how to take the time necessary to find the group that supports our better self.
There are some “lone wolf” crazies making a bid for final recognition; but these last two guys were both well established in their own fringe movements, movements which are strengthened in their resolve when national figures, political and media personalities, use fear mongering (they want to take your guns, they want to make you go to the doctors you don’t to go to, they want to raise your taxes, they don’t care what happens to you, they are facists or socialists and are destroying the American Way of Life) to establish their own credibility with their “base”. What an ironic coincidence. Who but the extreme wings of political thought are they appealing to if not what they think is their base? That is the group most willing to take action in the name of the cause. They are easiest to rally to noise and marching feet.
Then, as should be expected,  the weakest egos in that group collapse and react to that collapse with acts of “courage”, and a willingness to “die for the cause” and live in glory in the memory of the group, a legend and a model, with or without virgins.
In the current environment more and more people are losing their jobs and homes and human nature being what it is, would rather feel angry than helpless and hopeless. Those people are prime subjects for hate mongering. It is too easy and blind to truth, for those of us who are not susceptible to these ravings to dismiss them as political theater or ratings gimmicks. My understanding from current reports is that the numbers involved in these fringe groups are growing. And that means on a percentage basis alone, the functional number of those who will take outrageous action is also increasing. The perpetrators of these acts of violence and terror do not require coordination with others, they only require the perception of permission form those who they regard as authorities.

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