POLITICS: Is our society in decline?

Ever try arguing with a rock?

Do you find fewer and fewer people show the ‘respect’ and ‘good manners’ which us older folks took for granted in the past? Do you hear ‘thank you’ as often as we did? Have you had a door opened for you recently? Anyone offered you their seat on public transit? Talked to a young person who responded with manners and etiquette?

Or does Trump epitomize where I society is devolving? Racism, misogyny, xenophobia, put downs, attacks, and demagoguery? Is Doug Ford successfully channeling Donald Trump, criticizing the media, legislating policies that hurt rather than help, demonstrating a lack of respect for people, media and ethical principles?

Have you noticed your discussions are increasing more static or more intransigent rather than amenable to change by reasoned and logical input?

Placing blame
Placing blame may be easy it does not reverse social erosion, social degradation. Blame politicians who can lie with confidence and ‘hang-the-consequences’ care; blame social media where device users work/play with total autonomy and questioning authority. “I’ll call my lawyer; I’ll sue you!”

Mental intransigence
Ever try to discuss something with a millennial [ age range 18 – 35 ], trying to persuade them of something you believe is correct. Intransigence, a mental rock, intellectual immobility. This kind of mental outlook is very evident when it comes to supporters of political leaders such as Trump. Now that is a perfect example of trying to move immovable objects. Try to convince his supporters he isn’t a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe. An exercise in frustration and futility.

Stance trumps logic
Trump supporters cannot be moved by reason or logic, nor can people of their ilk. They have taken a position and look for explanations to justify that stance, regardless of their education or intellectual capability.

The future and personal integrity
Where our society is headed is an unanswerable question. No one can predict the ultimate state of our society, other than to confirm it is deteriorating in many, many ways. Respect for authority, respect for other people, respect for alternate lifestyles, alternate religions, alternate races, all eroding and in decline.

What can be done? To paraphrase of JFK, ‘Ask not what you can say to change other minds, ask how you can act and practice more principled living.’ Therefore, rebuild your own value system, your own principles on the community standards of the past. Don’t know them? Study history to learn what they were but you will be an immovable object if you see yourself as the authority, the fount of all knowledge.

Thank you sir/ma’am.

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