Sunday, January 14, 2018

Avoid outrage fatigue this season

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 13, 2017)

To get the most out of this holiday season, and to finish out 2017 on a high note, I recommend avoiding outrage fatigue. What is outrage fatigue? It's the exhaustion, cynicism, apathy, and hopelessness which comes from exposure to too many outrageous crises at once.

Whether your outrage is over your belief that President Trump has been caught plotting with Russians, yet faces no consequences, or from your belief that the politically motivated investigators probing him are simply grasping at shadows of straws in a desperate attempt to destroy someone they despise. It depends on your perspective, but either view can make you crazy.

And what of all the recent accusations of sexual misconduct among the political and entertainment elite? True or not, it can be overwhelming to try to keep up.

The world can look like a terrible place if that's what you focus on.

How many of those problems are new? None of them; they're just recycled crises with interchangeable actors, getting people worked up when noticed.

I'm not saying you shouldn't pay attention to world events, or that some aren't horrible, I'm suggesting you notice whether they impact you, personally. And if they do, how much? If you hadn't heard about it on the news or on social media, would it affect your life in any way? If not, maybe it's not as important as you believe. Certainly not important enough for you to make yourself unhappy over.

There are more important things closer to you. Things like friends, family, and community. Your pets probably have a bigger impact on your life than happenings in Washington D.C. or Hollywood. And certainly bigger than people or events in Great Britain, Syria, or Iraq.

Yes, those things matter to those who are personally impacted, and I empathize with them. But if you spend all your energy getting upset over those things, what do you have left for those who are around you every day? For the people and things your attitude affects?

If you waste your time and energy being outraged, even over outrageous things, when will you find time or energy to enjoy the good things in your life?

Yes, bad things happen. Politics can't solve them, but only magnifies them. Humans shouldn't rule others, and should never be in positions of imagined authority over anyone but themselves. When people are put into the foolish position of political authority, bad things are inevitable. It's not selfish or "isolationist" to focus on your personal sphere; it's being responsible.

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Them furriners

Those who focus on, or obsess over, "immigrants" without making the distinction between people who archate and those who don't, regardless of where they were born, are harming liberty. Badly!

And there are those who keep beating that drum and getting angry at those who don't fall for it.

Breaking a counterfeit "law" isn't wrong. "Immigration law" is counterfeit "law".

Initiating force or violating property rights is wrong (in that no one has the right to do so) no matter who does it, and regardless of where the guilty party comes from. It is not better to have a Red, White, And Blue redneck neighbor violating you than some guy who came from Somalia violating you. The violation is the problem; anything else is a distraction. You have the human right to defend yourself from any archator, and no "law" can change that (although "laws" can punish you for doing so).

If you can't get these points through your head, you just look like a bigot. You are helping the other anti-liberty bigots. You are making it impossible for others to reach out to educate those you hate (and yes, in spite of insincere words, it is hate). You are driving them into the arms of your enemy, and then pretending to be shocked at the results.

If you notice that socialistic handouts are a problem and you don't want foreign-born people using them, END THEM instead of enabling them. End them completely and totally, and replace them with charity to be given to whoever you choose. Voluntarily. Don't say "It can't be done"- it's no less likely than "closing the borders", and if you don't believe so, you are in denial.

If you love borders better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you and promise to protect you from "those people". May your chains and walls set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you once pretended to be our allies.*


*Apologies to Samuel Adams

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