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Tommy Carcetti

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Member since: Tue Jul 10, 2007, 03:49 PM
Number of posts: 41,483

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Well, that was demoralizing: A lunchtime anecdote.

Decided to get something for lunch at the Chinese place down the street. Figured I would go early to avoid the crowds given the ongoing health situation.

I get to the place around 11:45 and predictably it's almost completely empty. Just me, the waitstaff and two other customers sitting at a table.

I take a seat sufficiently spaced from the two other customers; however, because there's no one else in the restaurant, I can still hear their discussions rather clearly.

It's two men. They look most likely to be in their 70s, and they're dressed as if they had just been out on the golf course. (For all I know, maybe they had.)

And before my eggroll is even brought out, I can already surmise that they're talking politics. And unfortunately, I can't say any of it is good politics, either.

My back is turned to them, so I don't know who is saying what. They do seem to be in agreement with one another, though. It's not a debate of any sort.

And while I can't say I heard them word for word, I can hear various snippets here and there. And all of it underscores a rather sobering truth that's been plaguing us for at least six years, if not longer.

And that truth is that there are plenty of Americans who will just repeat whatever crazy disinformation they've heard without questioning it for a nanosecond if it reinforces their beliefs.

"Did you know that Adam Schiff's niece is married to George Soros' son?"

"Trump offered Nancy Pelosi 20,000 National Guard troops the day before January 6th but she refused them."


And there were a couple of other wonderful nuggets of "Did you know..." information that Old Golf Dude 1 conveyed to Old Golf Dude 2--or visa versa--that I heard as well.

What's so tragic is that it literally takes less a minute to debunk both of those stories. It's so incredibly easy.

I'm presuming this is the one about Schiff and Soros:

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/oct/11/viral-image/no-george-soross-son-isnt-married-adam-schiffs-sis/

And here's the one about the supposed 20,000 National Guard troops offered by Trump:

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/jun/13/sean-hannity/no-evidence-pelosi-rejected-trumps-authorization-2/

But we have people in this country who will refuse to listen to any sort of fact checking. And if you do bring up fact checking, they'll just claim it's biased and summarily dismiss it.

What they will do, however, is to continue to repeat these lies, even after they know it's all lies. And why? Because they don't want to rock their own precious little world.

Now, this was just two septuagenarian golfing buddies talking in a nearly-deserted Chinese restaurant. Given the demographics of my particular area, I think it wouldn't be too hard to cancel them out.

But nonetheless, that we have people in 2022 who still casually act as conduits of disinformation, who repeat lies at will without any effort to determine their veracity, is extremely sobering and depressing.

After the 2016 election, the amount of viral disinformation being spread all came to light front and center. If there was ever a time for people who were susceptible to these things to reconsider, we've had six years to do that.

But far too many of them haven't done anything in terms of logic, discernment and investigation of the things they hear. Nothing.

If I were someone of a different personality, I would have walked right up to the golfing buddies and read them the riot act, show them how they were wrong and how stupid it was for them just to bullshit-in, bullshit-out without so much as a second thought.

I'm not that type of person though.

On my way out of the restaurant as I passed them, I did mutter--and not inaudibly, either--"You guys are full of shit."

I don't know if they heard me. And even if they did, I don't know if it would have made any difference at all.

My fortune cookie for lunch read, "Pleasant experiences make life delightful. Painful experiences lead to growth."

And yet, six years post Trump, I see very little growth from the people who need it most.
Posted by Tommy Carcetti | Tue Jun 14, 2022, 01:09 PM (25 replies)
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